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VOLUME XI 



FRIEQRICH SPIELHAGEN 
THEODOR STORM 
WILHELM RAABE 






OF 



Cbe Jl3ineteenti) anD 
Ctoentfetl) Centuries 



Masterpieces of German Literature 



TRANSLATED INTO ENGLISH 



Editor-in-Chief 



KUNO I^RANCKE, Ph.D., LL.D., Litt.D. 

Professor of the History of German Culture, Emeritus, and 

Honorary Curator of the Germanic Museum, 

Harvard University 



Assistant Editor-in-Chief 
WILLIAM GUILD HOWARD, A.M. 

Professor of German, Harvard University 



3« Qlwsnlg Holumw SlluattsAth 



PUBLISHED BY 
J. B. LYON COMPANY 

ALBANY, N. Y. ,_ 

CI? U HELL 



te 11^ RAiU' 



PRINTED IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 
BY J. E. LYON COMPANY, ALBANY, N. Y . 



f\^1^1^1 



CONTRIBUTORS AND TRANSLATORS 

VOLUME XI 



Special Writers 
Mabion D. Leaened, Ph.D., Professor of Germanic Languages and Literatures, 
University of Pennsylvania: 

The Life of Friedrich Spielhagen. 

EwALD EiSERHAiBJT, Ph.D., Assistant Professor in German, University of 
Rochester, N. Y. : 

The Life of Theodor Storm ; Wilhelm Raabe. 

Translators 

Mabion D. Lbabned, Ph.D., Professor of Germanic Languages and Literatures, 
University of Pennsylvania: 
Storm Flood. 

MuBlEi, Aluon : 

The Rider of the White Horse ; The Hunger Pastor. 

Chaei,es Whabton Stobk, Ph.D., Instructor in English, University of Penn- 
sylvania : 

Consolation. 

Mabgabete Munstebbebo: 

To a deceased; The City; The Heath. 



CONTENTS OF VOLUME XI 

FRIEDRICH SPIELHAGEN page 

The Life of Friedrich Spielhagen. By Marion D. Learned.. 1 

Storm Flood. Translated by Marion D. Learned 14 

THEODOR STORM 

The Life of Theodor Storm. By Ewald Eiserhardt 214 

The Rider of the White Horse. Translated by Muriel Almon 225 

To a Deceased. Translated by Margarete Mtinsterberg 343 

The City. Translated by Margarete Milnsterberg 343 

The Heath. Translated by Margarete Milnsterberg 344 

Consolation. Translated by Charles Wharton Stork 345 

WILHELM RAABE 

Wilhelm Baabe. By Ewald Eiserhardt. 346 

The Himger Pastor. Translated by Muriel Almon 353 



ILLUSTRATIONS —VOLUME XI 

PAGE 

Christ Before Pilot. By Micliael von Munkacay Frontispiece 

Friedrich Spielhagcn. By A. Weiss 12 

The Last Day of a Condemned Man. By Michael von Munkacsy 22 

Arrested Vagabonds. By Michael von Munkacsy 62 

The Loan OiRoe. By Michael von Munkacsy 92 

Two Families. By Michael von Munkacsy 112 

The Little Thief. By Michael von Munkacsy 142 

Golgatha. By Michael von Munkacsy 212 

Theodor Storm 220 

Dunes on the North Sea. By Jacob Alberts 236 

Churchyard on a North Sea fsland. By Jacob Alberts 252i 

Communion Service on a North Sea Island. By Jacob Alberts 268 

A North Sea Islander's Congregation. By Jacob Alberts 284 

Living-Eoom in a Frisian Farmhouse. By Jacob Alberts 300 

A Quiet Comer. By Jacob Alberts 316 

A Gentleman of the Old School. By Jacob Alberts 332 

Wilhelm Kaabe 352 

The Commander of the Fortress. By Karl Spitzweg 382 

The Letter Carrier. By Karl Spitzweg 412 

The Nightly Bound. By Karl Spitzweg 4AZ 

The Stork's Visit. By Karl Spitzweg 472 

The Lover of Cacti. By Karl Spitzweg 502 

The Antiquarian. By Karl Spitzweg 532 



EDITOR'S NOTE 

The illustrations in this volume, devoted to the writings 
of Spielhagen, Storm, and Raabe, are from paintings by 
Michael von Munkacsy, Jacob Alberts, and Karl Spitzweg. 
Munkacsy may be called an artistic counterpart to Spiel- 
hagen, inasmuch as he shared with him the conscious 
striving for effect, the predilection for striking social con- 
trasts, and the desire to make propaganda for liberalism. 
Spitzweg was allied to Raabe in his truly Romantic inward- 
ness, his joyful acceptance of all phases of life, his glorifi- 
cation of the humble and the lowly, and his inexhaustible 
humor. Alberts is probably the most talented living painter 
of that part of Germany which forms the background of 
Storm 's finest novels : the Frisian coast of the North Sea. 

KuNo Fkancke. 




THE LIFE OF FRIEDRICH SPIELHAGEN 

Bt Marion D. Learned, Ph.D. 

Profeafior of Germanio Languages and Literatures, University of Pennsylvania. 

' HE struggle for liberal institutions, which 
found expression in the Wars of Libera^ 
tion, the July Eevolution of 1830, and the 
March Eevolution of 1848 — ^with visions 
of a German Eepublic, with bitter protest 
against the Eeaction, with a new hope of 
a regenerated social State and a reno- 
vated German Empire — ^marks only the stormy stages of 
the liberalizing movement which is still going on in the 
German nation. Since 1848, radical revolt has taken on 
forms very different from the dreams which fired the 
spirits of the Forty-eighters. The sword has yielded to 
the pen, the scene of combat has shifted from the arsenal 
and the battlefield to the printed book and the Council 
Chamber; while the necessity of an active policy of mili- 
tary defense has saved the German people from the throes 
of bloody internal strife. 

In the transition from the armed revolutionary outbreak 
of 1848 to the evolutionary processes of the present day, 
the novel of purpose and of living issues (Tendenz-und 
Zeitroman) has played an important part in teaching the 
German people to think for themselves and to seek the 
highest good of the individual and of the classes in the 
general weal of the nation as a whole. In the front rank, 
if not the foremost, of the novelists of living issues in this 
period of social and economic refonn was Friedrich Spiel- 
hagen, whose novels were almost without exception novels 
of purpose. 

Friedrich Spielhagen was born in Magdeburg in the 
Prussian province of Saxony, February 24, 1829. He was 
the son of a civil engineer, and descended from a family of 
foresters in Tuchheim. His seriousness and precocity won 

[1] 
Vol. XI — 1 



2 THE GERMAN CLASSICS 

him the nickname of "little old man," and also admission 
to the gymnasium a year before the average age of six. In 
1835, when he was six years old, his father was transferred 
to the position of Inspector of Waterworks in Stralsund. 
It was here by the sea and among the dunes that the young 
poet spent his most plastic years, and became, like Fritz 
Eeuter, his contemporary and literary colleague of Meck- 
lenburg-Schwerin, the poet of the Flat Land, which he made 
so familiar to the German public of the '60s and '70s. 
Spielhagen has given his own account of the first years of 
his life in his autobiography entitled Discoverer and In- 
ventor which is evidently modeled after Goethe's Poetry 
and Fact. Here we learn with what delight the boy accom- 
panied his father on his tours of inspection about the 
harbor city, with what diflSculties he contended in school, 
which he says was to him neither "stepmother" nor "alma 
mater," what deep impressions his vacation visits at the 
country homes of his school friends left upon his sensitive 
mind. Although his family never became fully naturalized 
in the social life of Stralsund, but remained to the end 
"newcomers," Spielhagen says of himself that, in his love 
for Pomeranian nature, he felt himself to be "the peer of 
the native born of Pomerania, which has come to be, in the 
truest sense of the word, my home land. ' ' 

The sea with its endless variety of moods and scenes 
opened to him the secrets of his favorite poet Homer. He 
says : "I count it among the greatest privileges of my life 
that I could dream myself into my favorite poet, while the 
Greek original was still a book of seven seals." Following 
the steps of his great German model, Goethe, he tested his 
talents for the stage both at home, where he was play- 
wright, manager, stage director, prompter and actor, all in 
one, and later on the real stage at Magdeburg only to find 
that he was not called to wear the buskin. 

In his school days he began to read the authors of Ger- 
man fiction and poetry: Tieck, Arnim, Brentano, Stifter, 
Zschokke, Steffens, Goethe's Hermann and Dorothea and 



FRIEDRICH SPIELHAGEN 3 

Faust (First Part), Leasing, Uhland, Heine's Book of 
Songs, Freiligrath, Herwegh. He also browsed about in 
other literatures: Byron's Don Juan he read first when 
he was seven years of age ; of Walter Scott he says : "In 
speaking this precious name I mention perhaps not the 
most distinguished, but nevertheless the greatest and most 
sympathetic, stimulator of my mind at that time. * * * In 
comparison with this splendid Walter Scott, the other Eng- 
lish and American novelists, Cooper, Ainsworth, Marryat, 
and whatever their names whose novels came into my hands 
at that time are stars of the second and third magnitude. ' ' 
He regards Bulwer alone as the peer of the Scottish Bard. 

The English influence of the time was reflected also in 
the life about him, especially in the sport-life, with its 
horse-racing, pigeon-shooting, card-playing (Tarok, 
L'Hombre, Whist or Boston) and kindred pastimes. He 
knew "that Blacklock was sired by Brownlock from Sem- 
iramis, and Miss Jane was bred of the Bride of Abydos by 
Eobin Hood" — an interesting sidelight oti the Byronic in- 
fluence of the time. This sport-life so zealously cultivated 
by the gentry, and his visits to the manor houses of his 
school friends during the vacations, afforded him glimpses 
into the customs and traditions of the agrarian gentry of 
Pomerania, and the manorial economy and reckless life 
of the nobles with their castles, dependents, laborers, over- 
seers, apprentices, volunteers and the like — the first im- 
pressions of his Problematic Characters. 

In 1847- Spielhagen left Stralsund to study jurisprudence 
at the University of Berlin, a journey of thirty German 
miles in twenty-four hours. What a revelation the great 
capital presented to the youthful provincial, who had never 
seen a railroad nor a gas jet before he began the journey! 
Arriving before the opening of the semester he had time to 
take an excursion into Thuringia, which later became so 
dear to him and is reflected in his From Darkness to Light 
(second part of Problematic Characters), Always to the 
Fore, Rose of the Court, Hans and Grete, The Village 



4 THE GEEMAN CLASSICS 

Coquette, The Amusement Commissioner, and The Fair 
Americans. Returning to Berlin he heard, among others, 
Heidemann on Natural Law and Trendelenburg on Logic. 
The signs of revolution were already visible in the univer- 
sity circles, but had not as yet awakened the interests of 
Spielhagen, who declared that revolution was a matter of 
weather, and that he himself was a republican in the sense 
that the others were not. 

The next semester Spielhagen went to the University of 
Bonn, wavering between Law and Medicine. The landscape 
of the lower Ehineland was not congenial to him. He 
longed for his Pomeranian shore with its dunes and invig- 
orating sea life. In Bonn he met leaders of the revolu- 
tionary party — Carl Schurz, "le bel homme," and Ludwig 
Meyer. The portrait he sketches of Carl Schurz is an out- 
line of that which the liberator of Kinkel rounded out for 
himself in his long years of sturdy citizenship in America. 
Spielhagen warned Schurz at that time that his schemes 
were quixotic. 

During the following vacation, on a foot-tour through 
Thuringia, Spielhagen witnessed the effects of the revolu- 
tion and the ensuing reaction. He arrived at Frankfurt-on- 
the-Main just after the close of the Great Parliament. He 
was deeply impressed with the violence done to Auerswald 
and Lichnowski, and witnessed the trial of Lassalle for the 
theft of the jewel-casket of the Baroness von Meyendorf . His 
attention was thus fixed upon the personality of the great 
socialist reformer who was later to play such an important 
role in his novels, and of whom he said: ** Lassalle set in 
motion the message which not only continues today, but is 
only beginning to manifest its depth and power, and the 
end of which no mind of the wise can foresee." 

In Bonn Spielhagen finally went over to classical philol- 
ogy, and devoted much time also to modern literature. His 
beloved Homer, the Latin poets, Goethe's lyrics, Goetz, 
Iphigenia, Tasso, Wilhelm Meister, The Elective Affinities, 
Immermann's Munchhausen, Vilmar, Q«rvinus, Loebel, 



PEIEDRICH SPIELHAGEN 5 

Simrock's Nibelungen, Goldsmith's Vicar of Wakefield, 
Dickens and Shakespeare all claimed his attention. The 
most interesting incident of his stay at Bonn was his audi- 
ence with the later Crown Prince Frederick, who had come 
with his tutor, Professor Curtius, to take up his studies at 
the university — an audience which was repeated at the 
Court of Coburg in 1867, when Spielhagen came face to 
face with his literary antipathy, Gustav Freytag. 

After three years of vacillation in his university studies, 
he finally made peace with his father, and decided to take 
his degree in philology. To this end he entered the Univer- 
sity of Greifswald and began the more serious study of 
esthetics, starting with Humboldt's Esthetic Experiments, 
and developing his own theory of objectivity in the novel. 
Meanwhile he read the English novelists Dickens, Thack- 
eray, Fielding, Smollett, Sterne, and the Germans Lichten- 
berg, Eabener, Jean Paul, Thiimmel, and Vischer's 
Esthetics. His. essay On Hitmor and other critical works 
owe much to these studies. After giving his interpretation 
of an ode of Horace in the seminary, he worked at his dis- 
sertation, and found in Tennyson the theme for his first 
finished work, Klara Vere. 

Having left the university, Spielhagen entered the army 
for his year of service. Here he gained valuable experience 
and information, which stood him in good stead in his 
novels. During this year he found time to delve again into 
Spinoza, whom he had studied in Berlin. The doctrines of 
this philosopher now had a new meaning for him and of- 
fered him a philosophic mooring which he had so much 
needed in deciding upon his career. Commenting on his 
reading he says: "I wished to win from philosophy the 
right to be what I was, the right to give free rein to the 
power which I felt to be dominant in my mind. I wished 
to procure a charter for 'the ruling passion' of my soul." 
This charter he found in Spinoza's words: "Every one 
exists by the supreme right of Nature, and consequently, 
according to the supreme right of Nature, every one does 



6 THE GERMAN CLASSICS 

what tlie necessity of Ms nature imposes, and accordingly 
by this supreme right of nature every one judges what is 
good and what is bad, and acts in his own way for his own 
welfare." This principle of "suum esse conservare" be- 
comes the guiding thought in Spielhagen's life at this time. 
With this philosophic turn of mind came a reaction against 
Byron's immoral characters such as Don Juan. 

He was now confronted with the problem of reconciling 
in his own life Freiligrath's words, "wage-earner and 
poet." His pedagogical faculties had been developed by 
the informal lectures which he had given to the circle of 
his sister's girl friends. After the manoeuvres were over he 
took a position as private tutor in the family of a former 
Swedish officer of the "type of gentleman," as he says. In 
this rural Pomeranian retreat the instincts of the poet were 
rapidly awakene^. Enraptured with the beauty of the coun- 
try he adopted Friedrich Schlegel's practice of writing 
down his thoughts and shifting moods in the form of frag- 
ments. As the family broke up for the holidays, he 
strapped on his knapsack for a cross-country tour home- 
ward, making a detour to visit an old friend at Eiigen. It 
was here that he fell in love with Hedda, the heroine of the 
story On the Dunes. He felt love now for the first time 
in its real power, which was lacking in Klara Vere. But 
this new, strange passion left him only the more a poet. In 
one of his fragments he wrote : ' ' The poet worships every 
beautiful woman as the devout Catholic does every image 
of the Holy Virgin, but the image is not the Queen of 
Heaven." 

The vacation had made him discontented with his posi- 
tion. All the rural charm seemed changed to common- 
place. He now felt a bond of sympathy with Rousseau, 
Victor Hugo, and George Sand, sought literary uplift in 
Homer, -lEschylus, Shakespeare, Scott, Byron, and ex- 
tended his reading to Gargantua, Tom Jones, Lamartine, 
Madame Bovary, and Vanity Fair, but declares he would 
willingly exchange Consuelo for Copperfield. It was at this 



FEIEDEICH SPIELHAGEN 7 

time, when Spielhagen was in unsteady mood as to his 
future, that he saw for the last time his old Greifswald 
friend, Albert Timm, who in the last three years had sadly 
changed from the promising student to the cynic: " 'Yes,' 
he cried (from the platform of the moving train) 'I am 
going to America, not of my own wish, but because others " 
wish it. They n^ay be right; in any case, I have run my 
course in Europe. Perhaps I shall succeed better over 
there, or perhaps not; it's all the same. * * * Somewhere 
in the forest primeval! To the left around the corner! 

Don't forget: to the left around the ' and the train sped 

out of sight." These parting words of his shipwrecked 
friend reminded Spielhagen only too keenly of his own 
unsettled career. 

At length Spielhagen decided to go to Leipzig to prepare 
for a professorship of literature in the university. After 
a tour in Thuringia, during which he saw in Ilmenau a 
gipsy troup which furnished him with the character of 
Cziska in the Problematic Characters, he again took up his 
study of literature and esthetics. His encounter with 
Kant's philosophy and Schiller's esthetic theories led him 
back to Goethe and Spinoza. In the midst of these philo- 
sophical problems, he received one day a letter from Eobert 
Hall Westley, an English friend in Leipzig, "a gentleman 
bred and born," telling him of a vacancy in English at the 
"Modernes Gesamt-Gymnasium" at that place. Spiel- 
hagen accepted the position in 1854, and in good American 
fashion followed the method of docendo discimus. Thus he 
finds himself again a producer. 

The first fruit of his critical studies during the early 
Leipzig period was the completed essay On Humor, which 
was now accepted and published by Gutzkow in Unter- 
haltungen am hduslichen Herd. This, his first printed 
work, gave him new courage. His studies in English led 
him again to the English and American poets. The offer 
of a Leipzig firm to publish a collection of translations of 
American poetry added new zest to his reading in American 



8 THE GEEMAN CLASSICS 

literature. The chief source of his translations was Gris- 
"vrold's Poets and Poetry of America. A specimen from 
Emerson's Representative Men will illustrate his skill in 
translating : 

Sphinx. 
'0 tiefer und tiefer 

Muss tauchen der Geist; 
Weisst alles du, -weisst du, 

Dass gar nichts du weisst; 
Jetzt zieht es dich machtig 

Zum Himinel hinan; 
Bist droben du, steckst du 

Dir weiter die Bahn." 

These translations appeared under the title Amerikwnische 
GedicMe. In addition to selections from Bryant, Long- 
fellow, Poe, Bayard Taylor, and others, he translated also 
George William Curtis' Nile Notes of an Howadji, which 
was published with the title Nil-Skiszen. 

His admiration for American literature was very great, 
as his own words will show : "But upon this wide, entirely 
original, field of poetry what abundance, what variety of 
production! Palmettos grow by the side of gnarly oaks, 
and the most charming and modest flora of the prairie 
among the garden flowers of magic beauty and intoxicating 
perfume." The American poems were followed by transla- 
tions of Michelet's L' Amour and other French and English 
works. 

Spielhagen connected himself with Gutzkow's Europa 
and devoted himself for a time to criticism. Among the 
essays of this period are Objectivity in the Novel, Dickens, 
Thackeray, etc. At the suggestion of Kolatschek, an Aus- 
trian Forty-eighter, who had returned from America and 
founded the periodical Stimmung der Zeit in Vienna, Spiel- 
hagen wrote a severe criticism of Freytag's historical 
drama The Fabians. This attack upon Freytag was occa- 
sioned by the severe criticism of Gutzkow's Magician of 
Rome, published in the Grensboten, edited by Julian 



FRIEDEICH SPIELHAGEN 9 

Schmidt and Gustav Freytag. It was Spielhagen's demand 
for fair play as well as his admiration for Giitzkow that 
drew him into the conflict. 

The old home in Pomerania had been broken up by the 
death of his father and the marriage of his sister, and the 
events of his early life could now be viewed as history. 
Out of these events and his later experience grew his first 
great novel, Problematic Characters (1860, Second Part 
1861). This novel deals with the conditions in Pomerania in 
particular, and in Germany in general, before 1848. 
The title is drawn from Goethe's Aphorisms in 
Prose: "There are problematic characters which are 
not adapted to any position in life and are not 
satisfied with any condition in life. Out of this 
arises that titanic conflict which consumes life with- 
out compensation." The hero. Dr. Oswald Stein, is 
the poet himself in his role as family tutor and implacable 
foe of the institutions of the nobility, "a belated Young 
German" and an incipient socialist. He falls in love with 
Melitta von Berkow in her Hermitage, with the impulsive 
Emilie von Breesen at the ball, and with Helene von Gren- 
witz, his pupil. Because of the latter he fights a duel with 
her suitor, Felix, and then goes off with Dr. Braun to begin 
anew at Griinwald. In the second part of this novel this 
unfinished story is carried to its tragic and logical conclu- 
sion, when Oswald dies a heroic death at the barricades. 
Although most of the chief characters drawn in the novel 
are types, they are modeled after prototypes in real life. 
Oswald, the revolutionist with a suggestion of the Byronic, 
echoes the poet in his early career. Dr. Braun (Franz), 
the man of will, is modeled on the poet's young friend 
Bernhard, and Oldenburg, the titanic Faust nature, is taken 
from his friend Adalbert of the Gymnasium days at Stral- 
sund. Albert Timm was his boon companion at Greifs- 
wald, and Professor Berger is a composite of Professor 

Barthold, the historian, and Professor M , who later 

became insane. 



10 THE GERMAN CLASSICS 

In the years 1860-62 Spielhagen was editor of the liter- 
ary supplement of the Zeitung fur Norddeutschland, doing 
valuable service as a literary journalist. In this position 
he had opportunity to prepare himself for the wider activ- 
ities as editor of the Deutsche Wochenschrift and later 
(1878-84) of Westermann's Monatshefte. After 1862 he 
was identified with the surging life of Berlin. 

In The Hohensteins (1863) the story of a declining noble 
family, recalling the historical novel of Scott and Hauff's 
Lichtenstein, the socialistic program of Lassalle begins to 
appear. Lassalle 's doctrines find their spokesman in the 
hero, Bernhard Miinzer, the fantastic but despotic agitator 
and cosmopolitan socialist; while the idealist, Baltasar, 
voices the reform program of the poet himself in the words : 
"Educate yourselves, Germans, to love and freedom." 

In the next novel. In Rank and File (1866), the program 
of Lassalle is reflected in Leo Gutmann, a character of the 
Auerbach type. The mouthpiece of the poet is really 
Walter Gutmann, who sums up the moral of the story in 
these sentences : ' ' The heroic age is past. The battle-cry 
is no longer: 'one for all,' but 'all for all.' The individual 
is only a soldier in rank and file. As individual he is noth- 
ing; as member of the whole he is irresistible." Father 
Gutmann, the forester, is evidently an echo of the poet's 
family traditions, while Dr. Paulus is an exponent of the 
philosophy of Spinoza. Leo's career and fall illustrate the 
futility of the principle of "state aid" in the reform pro- 
gram. Even the seven years of residence ih America were 
not sufficient to rescue him from his visionary schemes. 

In Hammer and Anvil (1869) the same theme is treated 
in a different form. The poet teaches here that the conflict 
between master and servant, ruler and subject, must be re- 
interpreted and recognized as a necessary condition of 
society. "The situation is not hammer or anvil, as the 
revolutionists would have it, but hammer and anvil; for 
every creature, every man, is both together, at every mo- 
ment." Thus the "solidarity of interests" is the aim to be 



FEIEDRICH SPIELHAGEN 11 

kept in view, and is shown by Georg Hartwig, who having 
learned his lesson in the penitentiary now appears as the 
owner of a factory and gives his workmen an interest in the 
profits. 

The most powerful of Spielhagen's novels is Storm 
Flood (1877), in which the inundation caused by the fearful 
storm on the coast of the Baltic Sea in 1874 is made a 
coincident parallel of the calamity brought about by the 
reckless speculation of the industrial promoters of the 
early seventies. As the catastrophe on the Baltic is the 
consequence of ignoring the warnings of physical phenom- 
ena in nature, so the financial crash and family distress 
which overwhelm the Werbens and Schmidts are the result 
of the violation of similar natural laws in the social and 
industrial world. The novelist has here reached the highest 
development of his art. The course of the narrative 
gathers in its wake all the elements of catastrophe, to let 
them break with the fury of the tempest over the lives of 
the characters, but allows the innocent children of Nature to 
come forth as the happy survivors of this wreck and ruin. 
The characters of Reinhold and Else, who find their bliss 
in true love, are his best creations. The poet has here 
proved himself a worthy disciple of Shakespeare and 
Walter Scott. 

After this blast of the tempest, the poet turned to the 
more placid scenes of his native heath in the novel entitled 
Flat Land (1879), in which he describes the conditions of 
Pomerania between 1830-1840. The wealth of description 
and incident, the variety of motive and situation, make this 
story one of the most characteristic of Pomeranian scenery 
and life. 

In the novel What Is to Come of It? (1887), liberalism, 
social democracy, nihilism, held in check by the grip of the 
Iron Chancellor, contend for the mastery. And what shall 
be the result ? The poet answers : ' ' There is a bit of the 
Social Democrat in every one," but the result will be "a 
high and lofty one and a new, glorious phase of an ever- 



12 THE GERMAN CLASSICS 

striving humanity." Here are brought into play t3T)ical 
characters, the Bismarckian Squire, the reckless capitalist, 
the particularist with his feigned liberalism. 

Spielhagen's pessimism finds vent in A New Pharaoh 
(1889), which is a protest against the Bismarck regime. 
The ideals of the Forty-eighter are represented by Baron 
von Alden, who comes back from America to visit his old 
home only to find a new Pharaoh, who knows nothing of 
the Joseph of 1848. Finding the Germans a race of toadies 
and slaves, in which the noble-minded go under while the 
base triumph, he turns his back upon the new empire for 
good and all. "Nothing is accomplished by the sword 
which another sword cannot in turn destroy. The perma- 
nent and imperishable can be accomplished only by the 
silent force of reason. ' ' 

In addition to his more pretentious novels, Spielhagen 
wrote a large number of shorter novels and short stories. 
To these belong Klara Vere and On the Dunes, already 
mentioned. At the Twelfth Hour (1863), Rose of the Court 
(1864), The Fair Americans (1865), Hans and Grete, and 
The Village Coquette (1869), German Pioneers (1871), 
What the Swallow Sang (1873), Ultimo (1874), The 
Skeleton in the Closet (1878), Quisisana (1880), Angela 
(1881), Uhlenhans (1883), At the Spa (1885), Noblesse 
Oblige (1888). The most important of Spielhagen's latest 
novels are The Sunday Child (1893), Self Justice (1896), 
Sacrifices (1899), Born Free (1900). 

The place of Spielhagen in German literature is variously 
estimated. Heinrich and Julius Hart in Kritische Waffen- 
gdnge (1884) contest his claim to a place among artists of 
the first rank and condemn his use of the novel for purposes 
of reform; while Gustav Karpeles in his Friedrich Spiel- 
hagen (1889) assigns him a place among the best novelists 
of his time. This latter position is more nearly correct. 
The modern disposition to cry art for art's sake, and to 
denounce all art which has a didactic purpose, is the off- 
spring of ignorance of the real nature of art. In a general 




Permission Berlin Photo Co., New York 

FRIEDRICH SPIELHAGEN 



A. Weiss 



FEIEDRICH SPIELHAGEN 13 

way all art has a didactic purpose of varying degrees of 
directness. It is just this didactic purpose which has enti- 
tled the novel to its place among the literary forms, and it is 
this purpose which made Spielhagen's novels such a potent 
power in the social revolution of the later nineteenth 
century. 

The charge has been made against Spielhagen that his 
characters are mechanical types used as vehicles of the 
author's doctrines or of the tendencies of the time. This 
charge is not sustained by the facts, even in the case of 
his first somewhat crude novel, the Problematic Characters, 
of which he says later : * ' There was not a squire in Riigen 
nor a townsman in Stralsund or Greifswald who did not 
feel himself personally offended." And the pronounced 
and clearly defined characters of Storm Flood, in their 
sharp contrasts and fierce conflicts with social tradition and 
natural impulse, present a vivid picture of the surging life 
of the New Empire. 

Spielhagen possessed an intimate knowledge of literary 
technique. Few if any of his contemporaries had given 
more careful attention to the principles of esthetics and of 
literary workmanship, as may be seen from his critical 
essays and particularly the treatises, Contributions to the 
Theory and Technique of the Novel, and New Contributions 
to the Theory and Technique of the Epic and Drama. 

It was but poetic justice that the novelist of the stormy 
days of the Revolution should be permitted to spend the 
declining years of his long life in the sunshine of the new 
Berlin, in whose making he had participated and whose life 
he had chronicled. He died February 24, 1911, having 
passed his fourscore years. 



FRIEDRICH SPIELHAGEN 




STORM FLOOD* (1877) 

TRANSI<ATED AND CONDENSED BT MABION D. LEABNED, PH. D. 
Professor of Germanio Languages and Literatures, Univenity of Pennsylvania. 

[HE weather had grown more inclement as 
evening came on. On the forward deck groups 
of laborers on their way to the new railroad 
at Sundin were huddled more closely together 
between the high tiers of casks, chests, and 
boxes ; from the rear deck the passengers, with few excep- 
tions, had disappeared. Two elderly gentlemen, who had 
chatted much together during the journey, stood on the 
starboard looking and pointing toward the island around 
the south end of which the ship had to pass. The flat coast 
of the island, rising in a wide circuit to the promontory, 
became more distinct with each second. 
"SothatisWarnow?" 

"Your pardon, Mr. President — Ahlbeck, a fishing village ; 
to be sure, on Wamow ground. Warnow itself lies further 
inland ; the church tower is just visible above the outlines 
of the dunes." 

The President let fall the eyeglasses through which he 
had tried in vain to see the point of the church tower. 
"What sharp eyes you have. General, and how quickly you 
get your bearings I" 

"It is true I have been there only once," replied the 
General; "but since then I have h&d only too much time to 
study this bit of coast on the map." 

The President smiled. "Yes, yes, it is classic soil," said 
he; "there has been much contention over it — ^much and to 
no purpose." 
"I am convinced that it was fortunate that the contention 

• Permission L. Staackmann, Leipzig. 

[14] 



STORM FLOOD 15 

was fruitless — at least had cnly a negative result," said 
the General. 

' ' I am not sure that the strife will not be renewed again, ' ' 
replied the President; "Count Gohn and his associates 
have been making the greatest efforts of late." 

* ' Since they have so signally proved that the road would 
be unprofitable ? ' ' 

"Just as you have shown the futility of a naval station 
here!" 

' ' Pardon, Mr. President, I had not the deciding voice ; or, 
more correctly, I had declined it. The only place at all 
adapted for the harbor would have been there in the 
southern corner of the bay, under cover of Wissow Point, 
that is on Warnow domain. To be sure, I have only the 
guardianship of the property of my sister " 

"I know, I know," interrupted the President; "old Prus- 
sian honesty, which amounts to scrupulousness. Count 
Golm and his associates are less scrupulous. ' ' 

"So much the worse tor them," replied the General. 

The gentlemen then turned and joined a young girl who 
was seated in a sheltered spot in front of the cabin, passing 
the time as well as she could by reading or drawing in a 
small album. 

"You would like to remain on deck, of course, Else?" 
asked the General. 

"Do the gentlemen wish to go to the cabin?" queried 
the young girl in reply, looking up from her book. "I 
think it is terrible below ; but, of course, it is certainly too 
rough for you, Mr, President!" 

"It is, indeed, unusually rough," replied the President, 
rolling up the collar of his overcoat and casting a glance 
at the heavens ; " I believe we shall have rain before sun- 
down. You should really come with us, Miss Else! Do 
you not think so, General?" 

"Else is weatherproof," replied the General with a 
smile; "but you might put a shawl or something of the 
kind about you. May I fetch you something!" 



16 THE GERMAN CLASSICS 

"Thank you, Papa! I have everything here that is 
necessary," replied Else, pointing to her roll of blankets 
and wraps; "I shall protect myself if it is necessary. Au 
revoirl" 

She bowed gracefully to the President, cast a pleasant 
glance at her father, and took up her book again, while 
the gentlemen went around the corner to a small passage 
between the cabin and the railing. 

She read a few minutes and then looked up and watched 
the cloud of smoke which was rising from the funnel in 
thick, dark gray puffs, and rolling over the ship just as 
before. The man at the helm also stood as he had been 
standing, letting the wheel run now to the right, now to 
the left, and then holding it steady in his rough hands. 
And, sure enough, there too was the gentleman again, who 
with untiring endurance strode up and down the deck from 
helm to bowsprit and back from bowsprit to helm, with a 
steadiness of gait which Else had repeatedly tried to imi- 
tate during the day — to be sure with only doubtful success. 

"Otherwise," thought Else, "he hasn't much that 
especially distinguishes him"; and Else said to herself that 
she would scarcely have noticed the man in a larger com- 
pany, certainly would not have observed hitn, perhaps not 
so much as seen him, and that if she had looked at him 
today countless times and actually studied him, this could 
only be because there had not been much to see, observe, 
or study. 

Her sketch-book, which she was just glancing through, 
showed it. That was intended to be a bit of the harbor of 
Stettin. "It requires much imagination to make it out," 
thought Else. ' ' Here is a sketch that came out better : the 
low meadows, the cows, the light-buoy — beyond, the 
smooth water with a few sails, again a strip of meadow — 
finally, in the distance, the sea. The man at the hehn is not 
bad; he held still enough; But 'The Indefatigable' is 
awfully out of drawing — a downright caricature! That 
comes from the constant motion ! At last I Again ! Only 



STOEM FLOOD 17 

five minutes, Mr, So-and-so ! That may really be good — 
the position is splendid ! " 

The position was indeed simple enough. The gentleman 
was leaning against a seat with his hands in his pockets, 
and was looking directly westward into the sea; his face 
was in a bright light, although the sun had gone behind a 
cloud, and in addition he stood in sharp profile, which 
Else always especially liked. "Eeally a pretty profile," 
thought Else; "although the prettiest part, the large blue 
kindly eyes, did not come out well. But, as compensation, 
the dark full beard promises to be so much the better; I 
am always successful with beards. The hands in the pock- 
ets are very fortunate ; the left leg is entirely concealed by 
the right — not especially picturesque, but extremely con- 
venient for the artist. Now the seat — a bit of the raUing — 
Eind ' The Indefatigable ' is finished ! ' ' 

She held the book at some distance, so as to view the 
sketch as a picture ; she was highly pleased. ' ' That shows 
that I can accomplish something when I work with inter- 
est," she said to herself; and then she wrote below the 
picture: "The Indefatigable One. With Devotion. Au- 
gust 26fh, 72. E. von W. . . ." 

While the young lady was so eagerly trying to sketch the 
features and figure of the young man, her image had like- 
wise impressed itself on his mind. It was all the same 
whether he shut his eyes or kept them open ; she appeared 
to him with the same clearness, grace, and charm — now at 
the moment of departure from Stettin, when her father 
presented her to the President, and she bowed so grace- 
fully ; then, while she was breakfasting with the two gentle- 
men, and laughing so gaily, and lifting the glass to her lips ; 
again, as she stood on the bridge with the captain, and 
the wind pressed her garments close to her figure and 
blew her veil like a pennant behind her ; as she spoke with 
the steerage woman sitting on a coil of rope on the forward 
deck, quieting her youngest child wrapped in a shawl, then 
bending down, raising the shawl for a moment, and looking 
Vol. XI — 2 



18 THE GEEMAN CLASSICS 

at the hidden treasure with a smile ; as she, a minute later, 
went past him, inquiring with a stern glance of her brown 
eyes whether he had not at last presumed to observe her ; 
or as she now sat next to the cabin and read, and drew, 
and read again, and then looked up at the cloud of smoke 
or at the sailors at the rudder! It was very astonishing 
how her image had stamped itself so firmly in this short 
time — ^but then he had seen nothing abdve him but the 
sky and nothing below him but the water, for a year! 
Thus it may be easily understood how the first beautiful, 
charming girl whom he beheld after so long a privation 
should make such a deep and thrilling impression upon 
him. 

"And besides," said the young man to himself, "in three 
hours we shall be in Sundin, and then — ^farewell, farewell, 
never to meet again! But what are they thinking about? 
You don't intend, certainly," raising his voice, "to go over 
the Ostersand with this depth of water?" With the last 
words he had turned to the man at the helm. 

"You see. Captain, the matter is this way," replied the 
man, shifting his quid of tobacco from one cheek to the 
other; "I was wondering, too, how we should hold our 
hehn ! But the Captain thinks " 

The young man did not wait for him to finish. He had 
taken the same journey repeatedly in former years; only 
a few days before he had passed the place for which they 
were steering, and had been alarmed to find only twelve 
feet of water where formerly there had been a depth of 
fifteen feet. Today, after the brisk west wind had driven 
so much water seaward, there could not be ten feet here, 
and the steamer drew eight feet! And under these circum- 
stances no diminution of speed, no sounding, not a single 
one of the required precautions ! Was the Captain crazy? 

The young man ran past Else with such swiftness, and 
his eyes had such a peculiar expression as they glanced 
at her, that she involuntarily rose and looked after him. 
The next moment he was on the bridge with the old, fat 



STORM FLOOD 19 

Captain, speaking to him long and earnestly, at last, as 
it appeared, impatiently, and repeatedly pointing all the 
while toward a particidar spot in the direction in which 
the ship was moving. 

A strange sense of anxiety, not felt before on the whole 
journey, took possession of Else. It could not be a trifling 
circumstance which threw this quiet, unruffled man into 
such a state of excitement! And now, what she had sup- 
posed several times was clear to her — that he was a sea- 
man, and, without doubt, an able one, who was certainly 
right, even though the old, fat Captain phlegmatically 
shrugged his shoulders and pointed likewise in the same 
direction, and looked through his glass, and again shrugged 
his shoulders, while the other rushed down the steps from 
the bridge to the deck, and came straight up to her as if 
he were about to speak to her. 

Yet he did not do so at first, for he hurried past her, 
although his glance met, hers ; then, as he had undoubtedly 
read the silent question in her eyes and upon her lips, he 
hesitated for a moment and — sure enough, he turned back 
and was now close behind her! 

"Pardon me!" 

Her heart beat as if it would burst ; she turned around. 

"Pardon me," he repeated; "I suppose it is not right to 
alarm you, perhaps without cause. But it is not impossible, 
I consider it even quite probable, that we shall run aground 
within five minutes; I mean strike bottom " 

"For Heaven's sake!" exclaimed Else. 

"I do not think it will be serious," continued the young 
man. "If the Captain — there! We now have only half 
steam — half speed, you know. But he should reverse the 
engines, and it is now probably too late for that." 

"Can't he be compelled to do it!" 

"On board his ship the captain is supreme," replied the 
young man, smiling in spite of his indignation. "I myself 
am a seaman, and would just as little brook interference 
in such a case. ' ' He lifted his cap and bowed, took a step 



20 THE GEEMAN CLASSICS 

and stopped again. A bright sparkle shone in his blue 
eyes, and his clear, firm voice quivered a bit as he went 
on, "It is not a question of real danger. The coast lies 
before us and the sea is comparatively quiet ; I only wished 
that the moment should not surprise you. Pardon my pre- 
sumption!" 

He had bowed again and was quickly withdrawing as if 
he wished to avoid further questions. "There is no dan- 
ger," muttered Else; "too bad! I wanted so much to have 
him rescue me. But father must know it. We ought to 
prepare the President, too, of course — ^he is more in need 
of warning than I am." 

She turned toward the cabin ; but the retarded movement 
of the ship, slowing up still more in the last half minute, 
had already attracted the attention of the passengers, who 
stood in a group. Her father and the President were al- 
ready coming up the stairs. 

"What's the matter?" cried the General. 

"We can't possibly be in Prora already?" questioned 
the President. 

At that instant all were struck as by an electric shock, as 
a peculiar, hollow, grinding sound grated harshly on their 
ears. The keel had scraped over the sand-bank without 
grounding. A shrill signal, a breathless stillness for a 
few seconds, then a mighty quake through the whole frame 
of the ship, and the powerful action of the screw working 
with reversed engine ! 

The precaution which a few minutes before would have 
prevented the accident was now too late. The ship was 
obliged to go back over the same sand-bank which it had 
just passed with such difficulty, A heavier swell, in reced- 
ing, had driven the stern a few inches deeper. The screw 
was working continuously, and the ship listed a little but 
did not move. 

"What in the devil does that mean?" cried the GeneraL 

"There is no real danger," said Else with a flash. 



STOEM FLOOD 21 

"For Heaven's sake, my dear young lady!" interjected 
the President, who had grown very pale. 

"The shore is clearly in sight, and the sea is compara- 
tively quiet," replied Else. 

"Oh, what do you know about it!" exclaimed the Gen- 
eral; "the sea is not to be trifled with!" 

"I am not trifling at all. Papa," said Else. 

Bustling, running, shouting, which was suddenly heard 
from all quarters, the strangely uncanny listing of the ship 
— all proved conclusively that the prediction of "The In- 
defatigable" had come true, and that the steamer was 
aground. 

All efforts to float the ship had proved unavailing, but 
it was fortunate that, in the perilous task required of it, 
the screw had not broken; moreover, the listing of the 
hull had not increased. "If the night was not stormy they 
would lie there quietly till the next morning, when, in case 
they should not get afloat by that time (and they might get 
afloat any minute), a passing craft could take off the pas- 
sengers and carry them to the next port." So spoke the 
Captain, who was not to be disconcerted by the misfortune 
which his own stubbornness had caused. He declared that 
it was clearly noted upon the maps by which he and every 
other captain had to sail that there were fifteen feet of 
water at this place ; the gentlemen of the government should 
wake up and see that better charts or at least suitable 
buoys were provided. And if other captains had avoided 
the bank and preferred to sail around it for some years, he 
had meanwhile steered over the same place a hundred 
times — indeed only day before yesterday. But he had no 
objections to having the long-boat launched and the pas- 
sengers set ashore, whence God knows how they were to 
continue their journey. 

"The man is drunk or crazy," said the President, when 
the Captain had turned his broad back and gone back to 
his post. "It is a sin and shame that such a man is allowed 
to command a ship, even if it is only a tug; I shall start a 



22 THE GEEMAN CLASSICS 

rigid investigation, and he shall be punished in an exem- 
plary manner. ' ' 

The President, through all his long, thin body, shook with 
wrath, anxiety, and cold; the General shrugged his shoul- 
ders. " That 's all very good, my dear Mr. President, ' ' said 
he, "but it comes a little too late to help us out of our 
unhappy plight. I refrain on principle from interfering 
with things I do not understand; but I wish we had some- 
body on board who could give advice. One must not ask 
the sailors — that would be imdennining the discipline! 
What is it. Else?" Else had given him a meaning look, 
and he stepped toward her and repeated the question. 

"Inquire of that gentleman!" said Else. 

"Of what gentleman?" 

"The one yonder. He's a seaman; he can certainly give 
you the best advice." 

The General fixed his sharp eye upon the person desig- 
nated. "Ah, that one! " asked he. "Really looks so." 

"Doesn't he?" replied Else. "He had already told me 
that we were going to run aground." 

"He's not one of the oflBcers of the ship, of course?" 

"O no! That is — I believe — ^but just speak to him!" 

The General went up to "The Indefatigable." "Beg 
your pardon. Sir! I hear you are a seaman?" 

"At your service." 

"Captain?" 

* ' Captain of a merchantman — ^Beinhold Schmidt. ' ' 

"My name is General von Werben. You would oblige 
me. Captain, if you would give me a technical explanation 
of our situation — ^privately, of course, and in confidence. 
I should not like to ask you to say anything against a 
comrade, or to do anything that would shake his authority, 
which we may possibly yet need to make use of. Is the 
Captain responsible, in your opinion, for our accident?" 

"Yes, and no. General. No, for the sea charts, by which 
we are directed to steer, record this place as navigable. 
The charts were correct, too, until a few years ago ; since 



STOEM FLOOD 23 

that time heavy sand deposits have been made here, and, 
besides, the water has fallen continually in consequence 
of the west wind which has prevailed for some weeks. The 
more prudent, therefore, avoid this place. I myself should 
have avoided it." 

"Very well! And now what do you think of the situa- 
tion? Are we in danger, or likely to be?" 

"I think not. The ship lies almost upright, and on clear, 
smooth sand. It may lie thus for a very long time, if 
nothing intervenes. ' ' 

"The Captain is right in keeping us on board, then?" 

"Yes, I think so — the more so as the wind, for the first 
time in three days, appears about to shift to the east, and, 
if it does, we shall probably be afloat again in a few hours. 
Meanwhile ' ' 

"Meanwhile?" 

"To err is human. General. If the wind — ^we now have 
south-southeast-^it is not probable, but yet possible — 
should again shift to the west and become stronger, per- 
haps very strong, a serious situation might, of course, 
confront us." 

"Then we should take advantage of the Captain's per- 
mission to leave the ship?" 

' ' As the passage is easy and entirely safe, I can at least 
say nothing against it. But, in that case, it ought to be 
done while it is still sufficiently light — ^best of all, at once. ' ' 

"And you? You would remain, as a matter of course?" 

"As a matter of course, General." 

"I thank you." 

The General touched his cap with a slight nod of his 
head ; Eeinhold lifted his with a quick movement, returning 
the nod with a stiff bow. 

"Well?" queried Else, as her father came up to her 
again. 

"The man must have been a soldier," replied the Gen- 
eral. 

"Why so?" asked the President. 



24 THE GEEMAN CLASSICS 

"Because I could wish that I might always have such 
clear, accurate reports from my officers. The situation, 
then, is this " 

He repeated what he had just heard from Reinhold, and 
closed by saying that he would recommend to the Captain 
that the passengers who wished to do so should be dis- 
embarked at once. "I, for my part, do not think of sub- 
mitting to this inconvenience, which it would seem, more- 
over, is unnecessary; except that Else — — " 

"I, Papa!" exclaimed Else; "I don't think of it for a 
moment!" 

The President was greatly embarrassed. He had, to be 
sure, only this morning renewed a very slight former 
personal acquaintance with General von Werben, after the 
departure from Stettin ; but now that he had chatted with 
him the entire day and played the knight to the young lady 
on countless occasions, he could not help explaining, with 
a twitch of the lips which was intended to be a smile, that 
he wished now to share with his companions the discom- 
forts of the journey as he had, up to this time, the com- 
forts; the Prussian ministry would be able to console 
itself, if worse comes to worst, for the loss of a President 
who, as the father of six young hopefuls, has, besides, a 
succession of his own, and accordingly neither has nor 
makes claims to the sympathy of his own generation. 

Notwithstanding his resignation, the heart of the worthy 
official was much troubled. Secretly he cursed his own 
boundless folly in coming home a day earlier, in having 
intrusted himself to a tug instead of waiting for a coast 
steamer, due the next morning, and in inviting the "stupid 
confidence" of the General and the coquettish manceuv- 
rings of the young lady; and when the long-boat was really 
launched a few minutes later, and in what seemed to him 
an incredibly short time was filled with passengers from 
the foredeck, fortunately not many in number, together 
with a few ladies and gentlemen from the first cabin, and 
was now being propelled by the strokes of the heavy oars, 



STOEM FLOOD 25 

and soon afterwards with hoisted sails was hastily moving 
toward the shore, he heaved a deep sigh and determined at 
any price — even that of the scornful smile on the lips of 
the young lady — to leave the ship, too, before nightfall. 

And night came on only too quickly for the anxious man. 
The evening glow on the western horizon was fading every 
minute, while from the east — from the open sea — it was 
growing darker and darker. How long would it be till the 
land, which appeared through the evening mist only as an 
indistinct streak to the near-sighted man, would vanish 
from his sight entirely? And yet it was certain that the 
waves were rising higher every minute, and here and there 
white caps were appearing and breaking with increasing 
force upon the unfortunate ship — something that had not 
happened during the entire day! Then were heard the 
horrible creaking of the rigging, the uncanny whistling of 
the tackle, the nerve-racking boiling and hissing of the 
steam, which was escaping almost iacessantly from the 
overheated boiler. Finally the boiler burst, and the torn 
limbs of a man, who had been just buttoning up his over- 
coat, were hurled in every direction through the air. The 
President grew so excited at this catastrophe that he un- 
buttoned his overcoat, but buttoned it up again because the 
wind was blowing with icy coldness. "It is insufferable!" 
he muttered. 

Else had noticed for some time how uncomfortable it 
was for the President to stay upon the ship — a course 
which he had evidently decided upon, against his will, out 
of consideration for his traveling-companions. Her love 
of mischief had found satisfaction in this embarrassing 
situation, which he tried to conceal; but now her good 
nature gained the upper hand, for he was after all an 
elderly, apparently feeble gentleman, and a civilian. One 
could, of course, not expect of him the unflinching courage 
or the sturdiness of her father, who had not even once 
buttoned his cloak, and was now taking his accustomed 
evening walk to and fro upon the deck. But her father had 



26 THE GERMAN CLASSICS 

decided to remain; it would be entirely hopeless now to 
induce him to leave the boat. ' ' He must find a solution to 
the problem," she said to herself. 

Eeinhold had vanished after his last conversation with 
her father, and was not now on the rear deck ; so she went 
forward, and there he sat on a great box, looking through 
a pocket telescope toward the land — so absorbed that she 
had come right up to him before he noticed her. He sprang 
hastily to his feet, and turned to her. 

"How far are they?" asked Else. 

"They are about to land," replied he. "Would you like 
to look?" 

He handed her the instrument. The glass, when she 
touched it, still had a trace of the warmth of the hand from 
which it came, which would have been, under other cir- 
cumstances, by no means an unpleasant sensation to her, 
but this time she scarcely noticed it, thinking of it only for 
an instant, while she was trying to bring into the focus 
of the glass the point which he indicated. She did not 
succeed; she saw nothing but an indistinct, shimmering 
gray. "I prefer to use my eyes!" she exclaimed, putting 
down the instrument. "I see the boat quite distinctly 
there, close to the land — in the white streak! What is it?" 

"The surf." 

"Where is the sail?" 

"They let it down so as not to strike too hard. But, 
really, you have the eye of a seaman ! ' ' Else smiled at the 
compliment, and Keinhold smiled. Their glances met for 
a minute. 

"I have a request to make of you," said Else, without 
dropping her eyes. 

"I was just about to make one of you," he replied, look- 
ing straight into her brown eyes, which beamed upon him ; 
"I was about to ask you to allow yourself to be put ashore 
also. We shall be afloat in another hour, but the night is 
growing stormy, and as soon as we have passed Wissow 
Hook" — he pointed to the promontory — "we shall have to 



STOEM FLOOD 27 



cast anchor. That is at best not a very pleasant situation, 
at the worst a very unpleasant one. I should like to save 
you from both." 

"I thank you," said Else; "and now my request is no 
longer necessary" — and she told Reinhold why she had 
come. 

"That's a happy coincidence!" he said, "but there is 
not a moment to lose. I am going to speak to your father 
at once. We must be off without delay. " 

"We?" 

"I shall, with your permission, take you ashore myself." 

"I thank you," said Else again with a deep breath. She 
had held out her hand; he took the little tender hand in 
his, and again their glances met. 

"One can trust that hand," thought Else; "and those 
eyes, too!" And she said aloud, "But you must not think 
that I should have been afraid to remain here ! It 's really 
for the sake of the poor President." 

She had withdrawn her hand and was hastening away 
to meet her father, who, wondering why she had remained 
away so long, had come to look for her. 

When he was about to follow her, Eeinhold saw lying at 
his feet a little blue-gray glove. She must have just slipped 
it off as she was adjusting the telescope. He stooped down 
quickly, picked it up, and put it in his pocket. 

"She will not get that again," he said to himself. 

Reinhold was right; there had been no time to lose. 
While the little boat which he steered cut through the 
foaming waves, the sky became more and more overcast 
with dark clouds which threatened soon to extinguish even 
the last trace of the evening glow in the west. In addition, 
the strong wind had suddenly shifted from the south to 
the north, and because of this (to insure a more speedy 
return of the boat to the ship) they were unable to land 
at the place where the long-boat, which was already coming 
back, had discharged its passengers — ^viz., near the little 
fishing village, Ahlbeok, at the head of the bay, immedi- 



28 THE GEEMAN CLASSICS 

ately below Wissow Hook. They had to steer more directly 
to the north, against the wind, where there was scarcely 
room upon the narrow beach of bare dunes for a single 
hut, much less for a fishing village; and Eeinhold could 
consider himself fortunate when, with a bold manoeuvre, 
he brought the little boat so near the shore that the dis- 
embarkment of the company and the few pieces of baggage 
which they had taken from the ship could be accomplished 
without great difficulty. 

"I fear we have jumped out of the frying-pan into the 
fire," said the President gloomily. 

"It is a consolation to me that we were not the cause 
of it," replied the General, not without a certain sharpness 
in the tone of his strong voice. 

"No, no, certainly not!" acknowledged the President, 
"Mea maxima culpa! My fault alone, my dear young 
lady. But, admit it — the situation is hopeless, absolutely 
hopeless ! ' ' 

"I don't know," replied Else; "it is all delightful to 
me." 

"Well, I congratulate you heartily," said the President; 
"for my part I should rather have an open fire, a chicken 
wing, and half a bottle of St. Julien ; but if it is a consola- 
tion to have companions in misery, then it ought to be 
doubly so to know that what appears as very real misery to 
the pensive wisdom of one is a romantic adventure to the 
youthful imagination of another." 

The President, while intending to banter, had hit upon 
the right word. To Else the whole affair appeared a "ro- 
mantic adventure," in which she felt a genuine hearty 
delight. When Reinhold brought her the first intimation 
of the impending danger, she was, indeed, startled ; but she 
had not felt fear for a moment — not even when the abusive 
men, crying women, and screaming children hurried from 
the ship, which seemed doomed to sink, into the long-boat 
which rocked up and down upon the gray waves, while 
night came over the open sea, dark and foreboding. The 



STORM FLOOD 29 

tall seaman, with tlie clear blue eyes, had said that there 
was no danger; he must know; why should she be afraid? 
And even if the situation should become dangerous he was 
the man to do the right thing at the right moment and to 
meet danger! This sense of security had not abandoned 
her when into the surf they steered the skiff, rocked like 
a nut-shell in the foaming waves. The President, deathly 
pale, cried out again and again, "For God's sake!" and 
a cloud of concern appeared even on the earnest face of 
her father. She had just cast a glance at the man at the 
helm, and his blue eyes had gleamed as brightly as before, 
even more brightly in the smile with which he answered 
her questioning glance. And then when the boat had 
touched the shore, and the sailors were carr3dng the Presi- 
dent, her father, and the three servants to land, and she 
herself stood in the bow, ready to take a bold leap, she 
felt herself suddenly surrounded by a pair of strong arms, 
and was thus half carried, half swung, to the shore with- 
out wetting her foot — she herself knew not how. 

And there she stood now, a few steps distant from the 
men, who were consulting, wrapped in her raincoat, in 
the full consciousness of a rapture such as she never felt 
before. Was it not then really fine ! Before her the gray, 
surging, thundering, endless sea, above which dark threat- 
ening night was gathering; right and left in an unbroken 
line the white foaming breakers! She herself with the 
glorious moist wind blowing about her, rattling in her ears, 
wrapping her garments around her, and driving flecks of 
spray into her face! Behind her the bald spectral dunes, 
upon which the long dune grass, just visible against the 
faintly brighter western sky, beckoned and nodded — 
whither? On into the happy splendid adventure which 
was not yet at an end, could not be at an end, must not 
be at an end — for that would be a wretched shame ! 

The gentlemen approached her. "We have decided. 
Else," said the General, "to make an expedition over the 
dunes into the country. The fishing village at which the 



30 THE GEEMAN CLASSICS 

long-boat landed is nearly a quarter of a mile distant, and 
the road in the deep sand would probably be too difficult 
for our honored President. Besides, we should scarcely 
find shelter there." 

"If only we don't get lost in the dunes," sighed the 
President. 

"The Captain's knowledge of the locality will be guaran- 
tee for that," said the General. 

"I can scarcely speak of a knowledge of the place, Gen- 
eral," replied Reinhold. "Only once, and that six years ago, 
have I cast a glance from the top of these dunes into the 
country; but I remember clearly that I saw a small tenant- 
farm, or something of the kind, in that direction. I can 
promise to find the house. How it will be about quarters 
I cannot say in advance." 

"In any case we cannot spend the night here," exclaimed 
the General. ' ' So, en avant! Do you wish my arm. Else ? ' ' 

"Thank you. Papa, I can get up." 

And Else leaped upon the dune, following Reinhold, who, 
hurrying on ahead, had already reached the top, while the 
General and the President followed more slowly, and the 
two servants with the effects closed the procession. 

"Well!" exclaimed Else with delight as, a little out of 
breath, she came up to Eeinhold. "Are we also at the 
end of our tether, like the President?" 

"Make fun of me if you like, young lady," replied Rein- 
hold; "I don't feel at all jolly over the responsibility 
which I have undertaken. Yonder" — and he pointed over 
the lower dunes into the country, in which evening and mist 
made everything indistinct — "it must be there." 

" 'Must be,' if you were right! But 'must' you be 
right?" 

As if answering the mocking question of the girl, a light 
suddenly shot up exactly in the direction in which Rein- 
hold's arm had pointed. A strange shudder shot through 
Else. 

"Pardon me!" she said. 



STOEM FLOOD 31 

Beinhold did not know what this exclamation meant. At 
that moment the others reached the top of the rather steep 
dune. 

"Per aspera ad astra," puffed the President. 

"I take my hat off to you, Captain," said the General. 

"It was great luck," replied Reinhold modestly. 

"And we must have luck," exclaimed Else, who had 
quickly overcome that strange emotion and had now re- 
turned to her bubbling good humor. 

The little company strode on through the dunes; Rein- 
hold going on ahead again, while Else remained with the 
other gentlemen. 

"It is strange enough," said the General, "that the 
mishap had to strike us just at this point of the coast. 
It really seems as if we were being punished for our oppo- 
sition. Even if my opinion that a naval station can be 
of no use here is not shaken, yet, now that we have almost 
suffered shipwreck herp ourselves, a harbor appears to 
me " 

"A consummation devoutly to be wished!" exclaimed 
the President. "Heaven knows ! And when I think of the 
severe cold which I shall take from this night's promenade 
in the abominably wet sand, and that, instead of this, I 
might now be sitting in a comfortable coupe and tonight 
be sleeping in my bed, then I repent every word I have 
spoken against the railroad, about which I have put myself 
at odds with all our magnates — and not the least with 
Count Golm, whose friendship would just now be very op- 
portune for us." 

"How so?" asked the General. 

"Golm Castle lies, according to my calculation, at the 
most a mile from here} the hunting lodge on Golm- 
berg " 

"I remember it," interrupted the General; "the second 
highest promontory on the shore to the north — to our 
right. We can be scarcely half a mile away. ' ' 

* ' Now, see, ' ' said the President ; ' ' that would be" so con- 



32 THE GERMAN CLASSICS 

venient, and the Count is probably there. Frankly, I have 
secretly counted on his hospitality in case, as I only too 
much fear, a hospitable shelter is not to be found in the 
tenant-house, and you do not give up your disinclination 
to knock at the door in Warnow, which would, indeed, be 
the simplest and most convenient thing to do." 

The President, who had spoken panting, and with many 
intermissions, had stopped; the General replied with a 
sullen voice, "You know that I am entirely at outs with 
my sister." 

"But you said the Baroness was in Italy?" 

"Yet she must be coming back at this time, has perhaps 
already returned; and, if she were not, I would not go to 
Warnow, even if it were but ten paces from here. Let us 
hurry to get under shelter, Mr. President, or we shall be 
thoroughly drenched in addition to all we have already 
passed through." 

In. fact, scattered drops had been falling for some time 
from the low-moving clouds, and hastening their steps, they 
had just entered the farmyard and were groping their way 
between barns and stables over a very uneven courtyard 
to the house in whose window they had seen the light, when 
the rain, which had long been threatening, poured down in 
full force. 

[Politz receives his guests with apologies for the accom- 
modations and his wife's absence from the room. His 
manner is just a bit forced; Else, noticing it, goes out to 
look for Mrs. Politz, and brings the report that the children 
are sick. The President suggests that they go on to Golm- 
berg. Politz will not hear of it, but Else has made arrange- 
ments — ^makeshifts though they are — for the trip, and 
insists upon leaving, even in the face of the storm. A mes- 
senger is to be sent ahead to announce them — ^Reinhold in- 
cluded, upon Else's insistence. Else goes into the kitchen, 
where Mrs. Politz pours out her soul to her — ^the hard- 
heartedness of the Count, who has never married, and her 



STOEM FLOOD 33 

vain labors to keep their little home in Swantow. It sets 
her thinking, first about the Count, then about Beinhold — 
was he married or not? Wouldn't any girl be proud of 
him — even herself! But then there would be disinherit- 
ance! Yet she keeps on thinking of him. How would 
"Mrs. Schmidt" sound! She laughs, and then grows seri- 
ous ; tears come into her eyes ; she puts her hand into her 
pocket and feels the compass which Eeinhold had given her. 
It is faithful. "If I ever love, I too shall be faithful," she 
says to herself. 

Eeinhold, going out to look for the boat, wonders why 
he left it to accompany the others to Politz's house; but 
fortunately he finds it safe. Now his duty to the General 
and Else is fulfilled ; he will never see her again, probably. 
Yet he hastens back — and meets them just on the point of 
leaving for Golmberg. 

The President has been waiting for the storm to blow 
over, he says. Else is fidgety, yet without knowing why; 
she wonders what has become of Eeinhold. The President 
sounds Politz on the subject of the railway — the nearest 
doctor living so far away that they cannot afford to have 
him come. But Politz says that they do not want a railway 
— a decent wagon road would be enough, and they could 
have that if only the Count would help a little. A naval 
station? So far as they are concerned, a simple break- 
water would do, he tells the President. The latter, while 
Politz is out looking for the messenger, discusses with the 
General the condition of the Count's tenants, in the midst 
of which the Count himself arrives with his own carriages 
to take them over to Golmberg. 

A chorus of greetings follows. The Count had met the 
General in Versailles on the day the German Emperor was 
proclaimed, the General had not forgotten. The company 
now lacks only Eeinhold, and the Count, thinking that he 
must have lost his way, is about to send a searching 

Vol. XI — 3 



34 THE GERMAN CLASSICS 

party, when Else tells him that she has already done so. 
The Count smiles. She hates him for it, and outside, a 
moment later, rebukes herself for not controlling her tem- 
per. Eeinhold meets her there. She commands him to 
accompany them. As they are leaving Else makes a re- 
mark about the doctor, which is overheard, as she intended, 
by the Count, who promises to send for the doctor himself. 

They proceed to Golmberg. Conversation in the serv- 
ants' carriage is lively, turning on the relative merits of 
their respective masters — how liberal the Count is; how 
strict, yet not so bad, the General ; while a bottle of brandy 
passes around. In the first carriage, where Else, the Presi- 
dent, and the General are riding, the conversation is of 
the Count's family and of old families in general, then of 
the project before them — the railroad and the naval sta- 
tion. The President drops that subject, finding the Gen- 
eral not kindly dispiosed to it. He and Else are both think- 
ing of her indirect request to the Count to send for the 
doctor. Then Else's thoughts turn again to Eeinhold — 
his long absence — what he would think of her command to 
accompany them. The Count and Eeinhold in the second 
carriage speak hardly a dozen words. Eeinhold 's thoughts 
are of Else — ^how hopelessly far above him she is — ^how he 
would like to run away. They arrive at Golmberg.] 

The President had dropped the remark in his note that 
the absence of a hostess in the castle would be somewhat 
embarrassing for the young lady in their company, but 
as it was not so easily to be remedied he would apologize 
for him in advance. The Count had dispatched a messen- 
ger forthwith to his neighbor, von Strummin, with the ur- 
gent request that he should come with his wife and daugh- 
ter to Golmberg, prepared to spend the night there. The 
Strununins were glad to render this neighborly service, 
and Madame and Miss von Strummin had already received 
Else in the hall, and conducted her to the room set apart 
for her, adjoining their own rooms. 



STORM FLOOD 35 

The President rubbed his thin white hands contentedly 
before the fire in his own comfortable room, and murmured, 
as John put the baggage in order, "Delightful; very de- 
lightful! I think this will fully reconcile the young lady 
to her misfortune and restore her grouchy father to a so- 
ciable frame of mind." 

Else was fully reconciled. To be released from the close, 
jolting prison of a landau and introduced into a brightly 
lighted castle in the midst of the forest, where servants 
stood with torches at the portal; to be most heartily wel- 
comed in the ancient hall, with its strangely ornamented 
columns, by two ladies who approached from among the 
arms and armor with which the walls and columns were 
hung and surrounded, and conducted into the snuggest of 
all the apartments; to enjoy a flickering open fire, brightly 
burning wax tapers before a tall mirror in a rich rococo 
frame, velvet carpets of a marvelous design which was 
repeated in every possible variation upon the heavy hang- 
ings before the deeply recessed windows, on the portieres 
of the high gilded doors, and the curtains of the antique 
bed — all this was so fitting, so charming, so exactly as it 
should be in an adventure! Else shook the hand of the 
matronly Madame von Strummin, thanked her for her 
kindness, and kissed the pretty little Marie, with the mis- 
chievous brown eyes, and asked permission to call her 
"Meta," or "Mieting," just as her mother did, who had 
just left the room. Mieting returned the embrace with the 
greatest fervor and declared that nothing more delightful 
in the world could have come to her than the invitation for 
this evening. She, with her Mamma, felt so bored at 
Strummin ! — it was horribly monotonous in the country ! — 
and in the midst of it this letter from the Count ! She was 
fond of coming to Golmberg, anyhow — the forest was so 
beautiful, and the view from the platform of the tower, 
from the summit of Golmberg beyond the forest over the 
sea — that was really charming; to be sure, the opportunity 
came but seldom! Her mother was a little indolent, and 



36 THE GEEMAN CLASSICS 

the gentlemen thought of their hunting, their horses, and 
generally only of themselves. Thus she had not- been a 
little surprised, too, at the haste of the Count today in pro- 
curing company for the strange young lady, just as if he 
had already known beforehand how fair and lovely the 
strange young lady was, and how great the pleasure of 
being with her, and of chattering so much nonsense; if 
she might say "thou" to her, then they could chatter twice 
as pleasantly. 

The permission gladly given and sealed with a kiss threw 
the frolicsome girl into the greatest ecstasy. "You must 
never go away again!" she exclaimed; "or, if you do, only 
to return in the autumn! He will not marry me, in any 
case; I have nothing, and he has nothing in spite of his 
entail, and Papa says that we shall all be bankrupt here 
if we don't get the railroad and the harbor. And your 
Papa and the President have the whole matter in hand, 
Papa said as we drove over; and if you marry him, your 
Papa will give the concession, as a matter of course — ^I 
believe that's what it's called, isn't it? And you are really 
already interested in it as it is ; for the harbor, Papa says, 
can be laid out only on 'the estates which belong to your 
aunt, and you and your brother — ^you inherit it from your 
aunt — are already coheirs? It is a strange will, Papa says, 
and he would like to know how the matter really is. Don't 
you know? Please do tell me! I promise not to tell any- 
one." 

"I really don't know," replied Else. "I only know that 
we are very poor, and that you may go on and marry your 
Count for all me." 

"I should be glad to do so," said the little lady seriously, 
"but I'm not pretty enough for him, with my insignificant 
figure and my pug nose. I shall marry a rich burgher some 
day, who is impressed by our nobility — ^for the Strummins 
are as old as the island, you know — a Mr. Schulze, or 
Miiller, or Schmidt. What's the name of the captain who 
came with you?" 



STORM FLOOD 37 

"Schmidt, Eeinhold Schmidt." 

"No, you're joking!" 

"Indeed,4'm not; but he's not a captain." 

" Not a Captain ! What then ? ' ' 

"A sea captain." 

"Of the Marine?" 

"A simple sea captain." 

"Oh, dear me!" 

That came out so comically, and Mieting clapped her 
hands with such a naive surprise, that Else had to laugh, 
and the more so as she could thus best conceal the blush 
of embarrassment which flushed her face. . 

' ' Then he will not even take supper with us ! " exclaimed 
Mieting. 

"Why not?" asked Else, who had suddenly become very 
serious again. 

"A simple captain!" repeated Mieting; "too bad! He's 
such a handsome man ! , I had picked him out for myself ! 
But a simple sea captain ! ' ' 

Madame von Strummin entered the room to escort the 
ladies to supper. Mieting rushed toward her mother to 
tell her her great discovery. "Everything is already ar- 
ranged," replied her mother. "The Count asked your 
father and the President whether they wished the captain 
to join the company. Both of the gentlemen were in favor 
of it, and so he too will appear at supper. And then, too, 
he seems so far to be a very respectable man," concluded 
Madame von Strummin. 

"I'm really curious," said Mieting. 

Else did not say anything; but when at the entrance of 
the corridor she met her father, who had just come from 
his room, she whispered to him, "Thank you!" 

"One must keep a cheerful face in a losing game," re- 
plied the General in the same tone. 

Else was a bit surprised; she had not believed that he 
would so seriously regard the question of etiquette, which 
he had just decided as she wished. She did not reflect that 



38 THE GEEMAN CLASSICS 

her father could not understand her remark without 
special explanation, and did not know that he had given to 
it an entirely different meaning. He had been annoyed 
and had allowed his displeasure to be noticed, even at the 
reception in the hall. He supposed that Else had observed 
this, and was now glad that he had meanwhile resolved to 
submit quietly and coolly to the inevitable, and in this 
frame of mind he had met her with a smile. It was only 
the Count's question that reminded him again of the young 
sea captain. He had attached no significance either to the 
question or to his answer, that he did not Jmow why the 
Count should not invite the captain to supper. 

Happily for Reinhold, he had not had even a suspicion of 
the possibility that his appearance or non-appearance at 
supper could be seriously debated by the company. 

"In for a penny, in for a pound," he said to himself, 
arranging his suit as well as he could with the aid of the 
things which he had brought along in his bag from the 
ship for emergencies. "And now to the^ dickens with the 
sulks ! If I have run aground in my stupidity, I shall get 
afloat again. To "hang my head or to lose it would not be 
correcting the mistake, but only making it worse — and it 
is already bad enough. But now where are my shoes ? ' ' 

In the last moment on board he had exchanged the shoes 
which he had been wearing for a pair of high waterproof 
boots. They had done him excellent service in the water 
and rain, in the wet sand of the shore, and on the way to 
the tenant-farm — ^but now! Where were the shoes? Cer- 
tainly not in the traveling bag, into which he thought he 
had thrown them, but in which they refused to be found, 
although he finally, in his despair, turned the whole con- 
tents out and spread them about him. And this article of 
clothing here, which he had already taken up a dozen times 
and dropped again — the shirt bosoms were wanting ! It 
was not the blue overcoat ! It was the black evening coat, 
the most precious article of his wardrobe, which he was 
accustomed to wear only to dinners at the ship-owners', 



STORM FLOOD 39 

the consul's, and other formal occasions! Reinhold sprang 
for the hell — the rotten cord hroke in his hand. He jerked 
the door open and peered into the hall — no servant was to 
be seen; he called first softly and then more loudly — no 
servant answered. And yet — ^what was to be done! The 
coarse woolen jacket which he had worn under his rain- 
coat, and had, notwithstanding, got wet in places had been 
taken away by the servant to dry. "In a quarter of an 
hour," the man had said, "the Count will ask you to 
supper." Twenty minutes had already passed; he had 
heard distinctly that the President, who was quartered a 
few doors from his room, had passed through the hall to 
go downstairs; he would have to remain here in the most 
ridiculous imprisonment, or appear downstairs before the 
company in. the most bizarre costume — ^water-boots and 
black dress suit — ^before the eyes of the President, whose 
long, lean figure, from the top of his small shapely head 
to his patent-leather tip^ which he had worn even on board 
ship, was the image of the most painful precision — ^before 
the rigorous General, in his closely buttoned undress uni- 
form — ^before the Count, who had already betrayed an 
inclination to doubt his social eligibility — ^before the ladies ! 
— ^before her — ^before her mischievous brown eyes! "Very 
well," he concluded, "if I have been fool enough to follow 
the glances of these eyes then this shall be my punishment, 
I will now do penance — ^in a black dress coat and water- 
boots. ' ' 

With a jerk he pulled on the boots which he still held in 
his rigid left hand, regarding them from time to time with 
horror, and opened the door again, this time to go down 
the broad stairway, and with a steady step along the hall 
into the dining-room, the location of which he had already 
learned from the servant. 

Meanwhile the rest of the company had assembled. The 
two young ladies had appeared arm in arm and did not 
allow themselves to be separated, although the Count, who 
had approached them with animation, addressed his words 



40 THE GEEMAN CLASSICS 

to Else alone. He dutifully hastened to inform the young 
lady that the carriage had been sent off to Prora for the 
doctor a quarter of an hour before. He asked Else 
whether she was interested in painting, and if she would 
allow him to call her attention hastily to some of the more 
important things which he had brought from the gallery 
in Castle Golm to Golmberg to decorate the dining-room, 
which seemed, to him altogether too bare : here a Watteau, 
bought by his great-grandfather himself in Paris; over 
there, a cluster of fruit, called "Da Frutti," by the Italian 
Gobbo, a pupU of Annibale Carracci; yonder, the large 
still-life by the Netherlander Jacob van Ness. This flower 
piece would interest the young lady especially, as it is by a 
lady, Eachel Euysch, a Netherlander of course, whose pic- 
tures are greatly in demand. Here on the etagere, the 
service of Meissen porcelain, once in the possession of 
August the Strong, which his great-grandfather, who was 
for some years Swedish minister at the Dresden Court, had 
received! in exchange for a pair of reindeer — the first that 
had been seen on the continent; here the no less beautiful 
Sevres service, which he himself had in previous years 
admired in the castle of a nobleman in France, who had 
presented it to him, in recognition of his fortunate efforts 
to preserve the castle, which he had turned into a hospital. 

"You are not interested in old porcelain?" queried the 
Count, who thought he noticed that the dark eyes of the 
young lady glanced only very superficially over his treas- 
ures. 

"I have seen so few such things," said Else, "I do not 
know how to appreciate their beauty." 

"And then, too, we are a bit hungry," put in Mieting — 
"at least I am. We dine at home at eight o'clock, and now 
it is eleven. ' ' 

"Hasn't the Captain been called?" asked the Count of 
the butler. 

"Certainly, your Grace; a quarter of an hour ago." 

"Then we will not wait any longer. The etiquette of 



STORM FLOOD 41 

kings does not appear to be that of sea captains. May I 
accompany you, Miss Else ? ' ' 

He offered Else his arm ; hesitatingly she rested the tips 
of her fingers upon it. She would have liked to spare the 
Captain the embarrassment of finding the company already 
at the table, but her father had offered his arm to Mieting's 
mother, and the gallant President his to Mieting. The 
three couples proceeded to the table, which stood between 
them and the door, when the door opened and the strange 
figure of a bearded man in black suit and high water-boots 
appeared, in which Else, to her horror, recognized the 
Captain. But in the next moment she had to laugh like 
the others. Mieting dropped the arm of the President and 
fled to a corner of the hall to smother in her handkerchief 
the convulsive laughter which had seized her at the unex- 
pected sight. 

"I must apologize," said Eeinhold, "but the haste with 
which we left the ship today was not favorable to a strict 
selection from my wardrobe, as I have unfortunately just 
now noticed." 

"And, as this haste has turned out to our advantage, we 
least of all have reason to lay any greater stress upon the 
trivial mishap than it deserves," said the President very 
graciously. 

"Why didn't you call on my valet f" asked the Count 
with gentle reproof. 

"I find the costume very becoming," said Else, with a 
desperate effort to be serious again and with a reproving 
glance at Mieting, who had come out of her corner but did 
not yet dare to take the handkerchief from her face. 

"That is much more than I had dared to hope," said 
Eeinhold. 

They had taken their places at the table — ^Eeinhold 
diagonally opposite Else and directly across from the 
Count; at his left. Miss Mieting, and, at his right, von 
Strummin, a broad-shouldered gentleman with a wide red 
face covered on the lower part by a big red beard; he was 



42 THE GERMAN CLASSICS 

possessed of a tremendously loud voice which was the 
more unpleasant to Eeinhold as it continually smothered 
the low merry chatter of the young lady at his left. The 
good-natured child had determined to make Eeinhold for- 
get her improper behavior of a few minutes before, and 
the execution of this resolution was made easier for her as, 
now that the table-cloth graciously covered the ridiculous 
water-boots, she verified what she thought she had dis- 
covered at the first glance — that the Captain, with his 
great, bright, blue eyes, his brown face, and his curly 
brown beard, was a handsome man, a very handsome man. 
After she had tried to communicate to Else this important 
discovery by significant glances and explanatory gestures, 
and to her delight had had it corroborated by a smile and 
nod, she yielded to the pleasure of conversation with the 
handsome man, the more eagerly because she was sure that 
this fervor would not pass unnoticed by the Count. For 
she knew from experience that it would not please him, 
that he would even feel it a kind of personal offense when 
ladies, whose favor he did not seek, bestowed special atten- 
tion upon other gentlemen in his presence! And the fact 
that this was a simple sea captain, whose social status had 
been discussed shortly before, made the matter more 
amusing and spicy in her merry eyes; besides, the con- 
versation was entertaining enough without that. "The 
Captain has so many stories to tell ! And he tells them so 
simply and frankly! You can't believe, Else, how inter- 
esting it is!" she shouted across the table; "I could listen 
to him all night!" 

"The child is not very discriminating in her taste," said 
the Count to Else. 

"I am sorry," said Else, "she has just chosen me as 
her friend, as you have heard. ' ' 

"That is another matter," said the Count. 

The conversation between them could not get under way ; 
the Count found himself repeatedly left to talk to Madame 
von Strummin, with whom he then conversed also — ^not to 



STOEM FLOOD 43 

be altogether silent; while Else turned to her neighbor on 
the other side, the President. And more than once, when 
Madame von Strummin was again conversing with the 
General, the Count had to sit and look on in silence and 
see how well the conversation at his table could go on 
without him. To fill out these forced pauses, he drank one 
glass of wine after another without improving his humor, 
which he vented on» the servants because he had nobody 
else. It would have been most agreeable to him, to be 
sure, to use the Captain for this purpose, but he found him 
extremely odious — everything about him, his appearance, 
his attitude, his manners, his expression, his voice! It 
was the irony of fate that he himself had brought the man 
to his house in his own wagon ! If only he had not asked 
the man to supper, but had left him in his room ! He said 
to himself that it was ridiculous to be angry about the 
man, and yet he was angry — angry again because he could 
not control his feeling. He must, at any price, make the 
conversation general, to release himself from a state of 
mind which had become quite intolerable to him. 

Opposite him von Strummin was shouting into the ear 
of the General, who seemed to listen only against his will, 
his views about the railroad and the naval station. The 
Count, for his part, had determined not to touch upon the 
delicate theme while at table; now any theme was agree- 
able to him. 

"Pardon, my friend," said he, raising his voice; "I have 
heard a snatch of what you have just been telling the 
General about our favorite project. You say continually 
'we' and 'us,' but you know that our views differ in essen- 
tial points ; I should like, therefore, to ask you, if you must 
speak of the matter now, to do so only in your own name." 

"Ho, ho!" exclaimed von Strummin. "Wherein do we 
differ so seriously? In one point, I wish a station at 
Strummin just as much as you do at Golm. ' ' 

"But we can't all have a station," said the Count with 
a patronizing shrug of the shoulders. 



44 THE GEEMAN CLASSICS 

"Certainly not; but I must, or the whole project is not 
worth a red cent to me," exclaimed the other. "What! 
Am I to haul my corn half a mile, as before, and an hour 
later let the train whizz past my nose ! In that case I shall 
prefer to vote at the Diet for the highway which the gov- 
ernment offers; that will run right behind my new barn; 
I can push the wagon from the barn floor to the road. 
Isn't that true, Mr. President?" 

"Whether the highway will run directly behind your 
barn or not, von Strummin, I really do not know," said the 
President. "In any case it will come through your prop- 
erty; as for the rest, my views have been long known to 
the gentlemen"; and he turned to Else again, to continue 
with her the conversation which had been interrupted. 

The Count was angry at the reproof which these last 
words seemed to convey, the more so as he was conscious 
that he had not deserved it. He had not begun the dis- 
cussion ! Now it might and must be carried still further ! 

"You see," continued he, turning to von Strummin, 
"what a bad turn you have done us — ^I must say 'us,' now 
— ^by this continual, disagreeable intrusion of personal 
interests. Of course we want our profit from it — ^what 
sensible man does not want that ! But that is a secondary 
matter. First the State, then the other things. So I think, 
at least, and so does the General here. ' ' 

"Certainly I think so," said the General; "but how is it 
that you bring me into it?" 

"Because no one would profit more by the execution of 
the project than your sister — or whoever may be in posses- 
sion of Warnow, Gristow, and Damerow." 

"I shall never possess a foot of those estates," said the 
General knitting his eyebrows. "Besides, I have had abso- 
lutely nothing to do with the matter, as you yourself know. 
Count; I have not once expressed an opinion, and so am 
not in a position to accept the compliment you paid me. ' ' 

He turned again to Madame von Strummin. The Count's 
face flushed. 



STOEM FLOOD 45 

"The views of a man in your position, General," he said 
with a skilful semblance of composure, "can no more be 
concealed than the most official declaration of our honored 
President, even if he give them no official form." 

The General knitted his brows still more sternly. 

"Very well, Count," exclaimed the General, "be it so, but 
I confess myself openly to be the most determined oppo- 
nent of your project! I consider it strategically useless, 
and technically impossible of execution. ' ' 

"Two reasons, either of which would be crushing if it 
were valid," rejoined the Count with an ironical smile. 
"As to the first, I submit, of course, to such an authority 
as you are — though we could not always have war with 
France and her weak navy, but might occasionally have it 
with Russia with her strong navy, and in that case a har- 
bor facing the enemy might be very necessary. But the 
impracticability, of the project. General! On this point I 
think that I, with my amphibian character as a country 
gentleman living by the sea, may with all deference say 
a word. Our sand, difficult as it makes the construction 
of roads, to the great regret of ourselves and our Presi- 
dent, is excellent material for a railroad embankment, and 
will prove itself a good site for the foundation of our 
harbor walls." 

"Except those places where we should have to become 
lake-dwellers again," said the President, who for the sake 
of the General could no longer keep silent. 

* ' There may be such places, ' ' exclaimed the Count, who, 
in spite of the exasperating contradictions by both of the 
gentlemen, now had the satisfaction at least of knowing 
that all other conversation had ceased and that for the 
moment he alone was speaking ; " I grant it. But what else 
would that prove than that the building of the harbor will 
last a few months or years longer and cost a few hundred 
thousands or even a few millions more? And what will 
they say of an undertaking which, once completed, is an 



46 THE GERMAN CLASSICS 

invincible bulwark against any enemy attacking from the 
east?" 

' * Except one ! ' ' said Eeinhold. 

The Count had not thought that this person could join 
the conversation. His face flushed with anger; he cast a 
black look at the new opponent, and asked in a sharp 
defiant tone: 

"And that is?" 

"A storm flood," replied Reinhold. 

"We here in this country are too much accustomed to 
storms and floods to be afraid of either," said the Count, 
with forced composure. 

"Yes, I know," replied Reinhold; "but I am not speak- 
ing of ordinary atmospheric and marine adjustments and 
disturbances, but of an event which I am convinced has 
been coming for years and only waits for an opportune 
occasion, which will not be wanting, to break forth with a 
violence of which the boldest imagination can form no 
conception." 

"Are we still in the realm of reality, or already in the 
sphere of the imagination?" asked the Count. 

"We are in the domain of possibility," replied Rein- 
hold ; " of a possibility which a glance at the map will show 
us has already been more than once realized and will in 
all human probability be repeated at no very distant future 
time." 

"You make us extremely curious," said the Count. 

He had said it ironically ; but he had only given expres- 
sion to the feelings of the company. The eyes of all were 
fixed upon Reinhold. 

"I am afraid I shall tire the ladies with these things," 
said Reinhold. 

"Not in the least," said Else. 

"I just revel in everything connected with the sea," said 
Mieting, with a mischievous glance at Else. 

"You would really oblige me," said the President. 

"Please continue!" added the General. 



STORM FLOOD 47 

"I shall be as brief as possible," said Reinhold, glancing 
first at the General and then at the President, as if he 
were addressing them alone. "The Baltic appears to have 
remained a world to itself after its formation by revolu- 
tions of the most violent nature. It has no ebb and flow, 
it contains less salt than the North Sea, and the percentage 
of salt diminishes toward the east, so that the flora and 
fauna " 

"What's that?" interrupted Mieting. 

' ' The vegetable and animal world. Miss Mieting — of the 
Gulf of Finland are almost those of fresh water. Never- 
theless there is a constant interaction between the gulf 
and the ocean, as the two are still visibly connected — an 
ebb and flow from the latter to the former, and vice versa, 
with a highly complicated coincident combination of the 
most varied causes, one of which I must emphasize, be- 
cause it is just that one of which I have to speak. It is the 
regularity with which the winds blow from west to east 
and from east to west, that accompanies and assists in a 
friendly manner, as it were, the ebb and flow of the water 
in its submarine channels. The mariner relied upon these 
winds with almost the same certainty with which one cal- 
culates the appearance of well established natural phe- 
nomena, and he was justified in doing so ; for no consider- 
able change had taken place within the memory of man, 
until, a few years ago, suddenly an east wind, which usually 
began to blow in the second half of August and prevailed 
until the middle of October, disappeared and has never 
reappeared. ' ' 

"Well, and the effect of that?" asked the President, who 
had listened with rapt attention. 

' ' The result is, Mr. President, that in the course of these 
years enormous masses of water have accumulated in the 
Baltic, attracting our attention the less because, as a mat- 
ter of course, they tend to distribute themselves evenly in 
all directions, and the main force is continually increasing 
eastward, so that in the spring of last year at Nystad, in 



48 THE GERMAN CLASSICS 

South Finland, a rise of four feet of water above the 
normal, at Wasa, two degrees further north, a rise of six 
feet, and at Torneo, in the northernmost end of the Bay 
of Bothnia, a rise of eight feet was registered. The grad- 
ual rise of the water and the uniformly high banks pro- 
tected the inhabitants of those regions to a certain extent 
against the greatest calamity. But for us who have an 
almost uniformly flat shore, a sudden reversal of this 
current, which has for years set eastward without interrup- 
tion, would be disastrous. But the reversed current must 
set in with a heavy storm from the northeast or east, par- 
ticularly one that lasts for days. The water, forced west- 
ward by the violent storm, will seek in vain an outlet 
through the narrow passages of the Belt and of the Sound 
into the Kattegat and Skagger-Eak to the ocean, and, like 
a hunted beast of prey rushing over the hurdles, will surge 
over our coasts, rolling for miles inland, carrying with it 
everything that opposes its blind rage, covering fields and 
meadows with sand and boulders, and causing a devasta- 
tion which our children and children 's children will recount 
with horror." 

While Reinhold was thus speaking the Count had not 
failed to notice that the President and General repeatedly 
exchanged knowing and corroborative glances, that von 
Strummin's broad face had lengthened with astonishment 
and horror, and, what vexed him most of all, the ladies had 
listened with as much attention as if it had been an account 
of a ball. He was determined at least not to allow Eein- 
hold the last word. 

"But this marvelous storm flood is at best — ^I mpan, in 
the most favorable case for you — a hypothesis!" he ex- 
claimed. 

"Only for such as are not convinced of its inevitable- 
ness, as I am," replied Reinhold. 

"Very well," said the Count; "I will assume for once 
that the gentleman is not alone in his conviction — ^yes, even 
more, that he is right, that the storm flood will come today, 



STORM FLOOD 49 

or tomorrow, or some time ; yet it appears tliat it does not 
come every day, but only once in centuries. Now, gentle- 
men, I have the profoundest respect for the solicitude of 
our authorities, which looks far into the future; but such 
century-long perspectives of even the most solicitous 
would seem beyond calculation, at any rate not induce them 
to neglect what the moment demands." 

As the last words of the Count were directed evidently 
to the General and the President, not to him, Eeinhold 
thought he should refrain from answering. But neither of 
the two gentlemen replied; the rest, too, were silent; an 
embarrassing pause followed. Finally the President 
coughed into his slender white hand, and said: 

"Strange! While the Captain here prophesies with a 
tone of conviction itself a storm flood, which our amiable 
host, who would be closest to it — as our Fritz Renter says 
— ^would like to relegate to fable land, I have had to think 
at every word of another storm flood " 

"Still another!" exclaimed Mietiug. 

"Of a different storm flood, Miss Mieting, in another 
entirely different region; I need not tell the gentlemen in 
what region. Here too the usual course of things has been 
interrupted in the most unexpected manner, and here too 
a damming up of the floods has taken place, which have 
rushed in from west to east in an enormous stream — a 
stream of gold, ladies. Here, too, the wise predict that 
such unnatural conditions cannot last, that their consum- 
mation is imminent, that a reverse current must set in, a 
reaction, a storm flood, which, to keep the figure that so 
well fits the case, like that other flood will rush upon us 
with destruction and desolation, and will cover with its 
turbulent barren waters the places in which men believed 
that they had established their rule and dominion firmly 
and for all time." 

In his zeal to give a different turn to the conversation 
and in his delight and satisfaction with the happy com- 
parison, the President had not reflected that he was really 

Vol. XI — 4 



50 THE GERMAN CLASSICS 

continuing the subject and that the theme in this new form 
must be still more uncomfortable for the Count than in 
the first. He became aware of his thoughtlessness when 
the Count, in a tone reflecting his emotion, exclaimed : 

"I hope, Mr. President, you will hot associate our idea, 
dictated, I may be permitted to say, by the purest patriot- 
ism, with those financial bubbles so popular these days, 
which have usually no other source than the most ordinary 
thirst for gain." 

"For Heaven's sake. Count! How can you impute to 
me such a thing as would not even enter my dreams!" ex- 
claimed the President. 

The Count bowed. "I thank you," said he, "for I con- 
fess nothing would have been more offensive to my feel- 
ings. I have, of course, always considered it a political 
necessity, and a proof of his eminent statesmanship, that 
Prince Bismarck in the execution of his great ideas made 
use of certain means which he would certainly have done 
better not to have employed, because he thus could not 
avoid too close contact with persons, dealings with whom 
were formerly yery odious to him at least. I considered it 
also a necessary consequence of this unfortunate policy 
that he inaugurated, was forced to inaugurate, by means of 
these nefarious millions, the new era of haggling and im- 
moderate lust for gain. However " 

"Pardon me for interrupting you," said the General; "I 
consider this bargaining of the Prince with those persons, 
parties, strata of the population, classes of society — call it 
what you will — as you do. Count, as of course an unfor- 
tunate policy but by no means a necessary one. Quite the 
contrary ! The rocher de bronze, upon which the Prussian 
throne is established — a loyal nobility, a zealous oflScial- 
dom, a faithful army — they were strong enough to bear the 
German Imperial dignity, even though it had to be a Ger- 
man and not a Prussian, or not an imperial dignity at all. ' ' 

"Yes, General, it had to be an imperial dignity, and a 
German one too," said Reinhold. 



STORM FLOOD 51 

The General shot a lowering glance from under his 
bushy brows at the young man; but he had just listened 
with satisfaction to his explanations, and he felt that he 
must now, even though Eeinhold opposed him, let him 
speak. "Why do you think so?" he asked. 

"I only follow my own feelings," replied Eeinhold; "but 
I am sure that they are the feelings of all who have ever 
lived much abroad, away from home, as I have — those who 
have experienced, as I have, what it means to belong to a 
people that is not a nation, and, because it is not a nation, 
is not considered complete by the other nations with which 
we have intercourse, nay, is even despised outright; what 
it means in difficult situations into which the mariner so 
easily comes, to be left to one's own resources, or, what is 
still worse, to ask for the assistance or the protection of 
others who unwillingly render it or prefer not to help at 
all. I have experienced and endured all this, as thousands 
and thousands of others have done, and to all this injustice 
and wrong have had silfintly to clench my fist in my pocket. 
And now I have been abroad again since the war, until a few 
weeks ago, and found that I no longer needed to dance at- 
tendance and stand aside, that I could enter with as firm 
step as the others; and thus, my friends, I thanked God 
from the bottom of my heart that we have an Emperor — a 
German Emperor ; for nothing less than a German Emperor 
it had to be, if we were to demonstrate to the Englishman, 
the American, the Chinese and Japanese, ad oculos, that 
they henceforth no longer carry on trade and form treaties 
with Hamburgers, Bremers, with Oldenburg'ers and Meck- 
linburgers, or even with Prussians, but with Germans, who 
sail under one and the same flag — a flag which has the will 
and the power to protect and defend the least and the poor- 
est who shares the honor and the fortune of being a 
German. ' ' 

The General, to whom the last words were addressed, 
stared straight ahead — evidently a sympathetic chord in 
his heart had been touched. The President had put on his 



52 THE GERMAN CLASSICS 

eye-glasses, which he had not used the whole evening ; the 
ladies, scarcely took their eyes from the man who spoke 
with such feeling and loyalty — the Count seeing and noting 
everything; his dislike for the man grew with every word 
that came from his mouth; he felt he must silence the 
wretched chatterer. 

"I confess," he said, "that I should regret the noble 
blood shed upon so many battlefields, if it were for no 
other purpose than to put more securely into the pockets 
of the men who speculate in cotton and sugar, or export 
our laborers, their petty profits. ' ' 

"I did not say that it was for no other purpose," re- 
joined Reinhold. 

"To be sure," continued the Count, with a pretense of 
ignoring the interruption; "the further out of gunshot 
the better ! And it is very pleasant to bask in the glory and 
honor which others have won for us. " 

The General frowned, the President dropped his eye- 
glasses, the two young ladies exchanged terrified glances. 

"I doubt not," said Reinhold, "that the Count has his 
full share of German glory ; I, for my part, am content with 
the honor of not having been out of gunshot." 

"Where were you on the day of Gravelotte, Captain?" 

"At Gravelotte, Count." 

The General raised his eyebrows, the President put on 
his eye-glasses, the young ladies glanced at each other 
again — Else this time with a thrill of delight, while Mieting 
almost broke out into unrestrained laughter at the puzzled 
expression of the Count. 

"That is, to be accurate," continued Reinhold, whose 
cheeks were flushed by the attention which his last word 
had excited, as he turned to the General ; " on the morning 
of that day I was on the march from Rezonville to St. 
Marie. Then, when it was learned, as the General knows, 
that the enemy was not retreating along the northern road, 
and the second army had executed the great flank move- 
ment to the right toward Berneville and Amanvilliers, we — 



STOEM FLOOD 53 

the eighteenth division — came under fire at half -past eleven 
in the morning in the neighborhood of Berneville. Our 
division had the honor of opening the battle, as the General 
will recall." 

Eeinhold passed his hand over his brow. The dreadful 
scenes of those fateful days again came to his mind. He 
had forgotten the offensive scorn which had been couched 
in the Count's question, and which he wished to resent by 
his account of his participation in the battle. 

"Did you go through the whole campaign?" asked the 
General; and there was a peculiar, almost tender tone in 
his deep voice. 

"I did, General, if I may include the two weeks from 
the eighteenth of July to the first of August, when I was 
drilling in Coblenz. As a native Hamburger and a seaman 
I had not had the good fortune of thoroughly learning the 
military discipline in my youth." 

"How did you happen to enter the campaign?" 

"It is a short story, and I will tell it briefly. On the 
fifteenth of July I lay with my ship at the Eoads of South- 
ampton, destined for Bombay — captain of a full-rigged 
ship for the first time. On the evening of the sixteenth 
we were to sail. But on the morning of the sixteenth 
the news came that war had been declared; at noon, hav- 
ing already secured a suitable substitute, I severed my 
connection with the ship-owners and with my ship ; in the 
evening I was in London; during the nights of the sixteenth 
and seventeenth on the way to Ostende by way of Brussels, 
down the Ehine to Coblenz, where I offered myself as a 
volunteer, was accepted, drilled a little, sent on, and — I 
don't know how it happened — assigned to the Ninth Corps, 

Eighteenth Division, Eegiment, in which I went 

through the campaign." 

"Were you promoted?" 

"To the rank 6f Corporal at Gravelotte; on the first of 
September, the day after the great sally of Bazaine, to 



54 THE GERMAN CLASSICS 

the rank of Vice-Sergeant-Major; on the fourth of Sep- 
tember " 

"That was the day of Orleans?" 

"Yes, General— on the day of the battle of Orleans I 
received my commission as ofiBcer." 

"My congratulations on your rapid advancement!" said 
the General with a smile; but his face darkened again. 
"Why didn't you introduce yourself to me as comrade?" 

"The sea captain apologizes for the Reserve Lieutenant, 
General." 

"Did you receive a decoration?" 

"At your service! I received the Cross with my com- 
mission." 

"And you don't wear the decoration?" 

"My dress is a little disordered today," replied Rein- 
hold. 

Mieting burst into laughter, in which Reinhold freely 
joined; and the others smiled — polite, approving, flatter- 
ing smUes, as it seemed to the Count. 

"I. fear we have taxed the patience of the ladies too 
long," he said with a significant gesture. 

[Mieting and Else are alone in their room. Mieting de- 
clares her love for the captain, declaring he is just her 
ideal of a man. She then unbraids her long hair, which 
reaches to her feet, tells Else all her little love stories, 
kisses her and runs off to bed. 

The gentlemen likewise prepare to retire. Reinhold 
excuses himself very formally, declines the Count's offer 
of a carriage for his journey in the early morning, and is 
also about to retire, when the butler knocks on his door 
and tells him that the President wishes to speak to him. 
The President assures him of his personal interest, and 
asks him to look over certain papers relating to the railway 
and naval project and teU him whether he would be willing 
to work with him in the capacity of chief pilot at Wissow 
to succeed the old chief, soon to be pensioned. Reinhold 



STORM FLOOD 55 

is quite overcome by this confidence on the part of the 
stranger. The President invites him to dinner at his house, 
when he is to give his answer. Eeinhold considers the 
proposal — to give up all his plans — ^his command of a ship 
plying between South America and China for the great 
Hamburg firm, his North Pole expedition, in which he had 
interested many people — to give up all for this desert coast 
and — ^he had to confess it — to be near Else, though his 
social position was hopelessly inferior; he would be but a 
fool, he knew. Which course should he take? He looks 
out of the window and sees Venus, the star of love, shining 
through a rift of the clouds. He decides to accept the 
President's proposal. It is dawn, and he lies down for an 
hour's sleep. 

Else lies awake for a long time thinking of the day's 
happenings. When she does fall asleep, she dreams wildly 
of searching for Eeinhold, and of wrestling with Mieting, 
by whom she is finally awakened just before sunrise. Miet- 
ing helps Else dress and they both go out to watch the 
sunrise from a height overlooking the sea. Eeinhold comes 
upon them there. He sees the ship and hastens away with 
a word for Mieting and a glance for Else, who returns the 
glance and sends him on his way with a joyous heart. 

On the train to Berlin Eeinhold is in the same compart- 
ment with Ottomar von Werben, Else's brother, and the 
two recognize each other. Eeinhold tells of his adventures 
in hunting buffaloes and tapirs, in contrast with which 
Ottomar describes his tiresome occupation as an officer 
since the close of the war. In the conversation Ottomar 
tells Eeinhold that he lives next door to Eeinhold 's uncle, 
and offers to help him find his uncle when they arrive, 
since Eeinhold has not seen him for ten years. While 
Ottomar is looking through the crowd Eeinhold recognizes 
his uncle, who gives him an affectionate greeting, and Fer- 
dinande, his uncle 's daughter, now a young lady of twenty- 
four. Eeinhold introduces Ottomar to Ferdinande, but she 
is in a hurry to be off, and whispers in Eeinhold 's ear that 



56 THE GEEMAN CLASSICS 

her father and Ottomar's father have been enemies 
since '48. 

Eeinhold, on entering his uncle's luxurious home, feels 
that it lacks real comfort, but thiaks this may be due to 
the fact that he is a stranger. Then he thinks of Else — 
she lives next door! Aunt Eikchen greets him with hugs 
and kisses when he comes in. At dinner he asks about his 
cousin Philip, and learns that Philip almost never comes 
home. The question seems to have opened an old sore, as 
Philip is at odds with his father — an unfortunate beginning 
for the evening meal, Eeinhold thinks.] 

Meanwhile it appeared that his fears were fortunately 
not to be justified. To be sure. Aunt Eikchen could not 
open her mouth without having the thread of her discourse 
abruptly cut off by Uncle Ernst, and Ferdinande took little 
part in the conversation; but that signified little in the 
beginning, or was easily explained, as Uncle Ernst asked 
Eeinhold first of all for a detailed account of his adven- 
tures and experiences during the long years since they had 
seen each other, and listened with an attentiveness which 
brooked no interruption. Now Eeinhold had an oppor- 
tunity to admire the very unusual fullness and accuracy 
of Uncle Ernst's knowledge. He could not mention a city, 
however distant, with whose location, history, and mer- 
cantile relations his uncle was not fully acquainted. He 
expressed to his uncle his astonishment and admiration. 

"What do you expect?" answered Uncle Ernst. "If one 
is born a poor devil and has not the good fortune, like you, 
to roam around professionally through the world, but as a 
boy, a youth, and a man, has been bound to the soil and to 
hard work to gain his daily bread, until he has become an 
old fellow and can now no longer travel as one otherwise 
might do — what remains for him but to study the maps 
and nose through books to find out how grand and beauti- 
ful God has made His world.'' 

While Uncle Ernst thus spoke, all the roughness and 
bitterness vanished from his voice, all suUenness from his 



STOEM FLOOD 57 

rigid features, but only for a moment ; then the dark cloud 
again gathered over his brow and eyes, like gray mists 
about the snows of a mountain range, which had just 
gleamed in the sunlight. 

Eeinhold could not take his eyes from the fine old face, 
whose expression constantly changed but never showed the 
slightest trace of shallowness or commonplace, remaining 
always dignified and strong, nor from the splendid head 
which, now that his abundant curly hair and bushy beard 
had grown quite gray, appeared more stately, more ma- 
jestic than in former years. And at the same time he was 
compelled to think constantly of another face, opposite 
which he had sat but a few evenings before — that of Gen- 
eral von Werben, with features likewise fine and sturdy, 
to be sure, but more composed, more concentrated, without 
the glowing fervor which, in Uncle Ernst, shone out in a 
splendid flash, or again, with threatening gleam, as if 
from beneath an ashy covering. Eeinhold had said to him- 
self from the beginning that it might not be long before 
he should have proof that this inner, scarcely subdued glow 
was threatening, and needed only an occasion to break 
forth with stormy violence ; and he was not deceived. 

In the narration of his journeys and wanderings he had 
come to the day, when, in Southampton, he received news 
of the outbreak of the war, and severed all his connections, 
gave up his other occupations and habits, and returned to 
Germany to fulfil his duty toward his native land which 
was in peril. — "The enthusiasm," he explained, "dic- 
tated my determination; with full devotion and the use of 
all my intellectual and physical powers, I carried it out 
from beginning to end, without — I may be permitted to 
say so — even once growing weary, flagging, or doubting 
for a moment that the cause to which I had consecrated 
myself was a holy one, however unholy the horrible bloody 
vestments in which it had to be enveloped. Then when 
the great object was attained, in a greater, better, fuller 
sense than I and indeed all who had gone into the battle 



58 THE GEEMAN CLASSICS 

with me had thought, had imagined, had desired, had in- 
tended — then I returned to my old occupation without 
delay, steered my ship again over the sea, in the silent 
happy consciousness of having done my duty; in the assur- 
ance of finding in the shadow of the German flag a bit of 
home everywhere, wherever the changing fate of the mari- 
ner might lead me ; in the happy confidence that you in the 
fair Fatherland would never let the hard-won victory be 
lost, but would employ the precious time in filling out and 
completing the work so nobly planned, so vigorously begun, 
and that if I returned home it would be to a land full of 
joy and peace and sunshine in the hearts and countenances 
of all. 

"I must confess that during the few days of my stay in 
my native land I have had many experiences which ap- 
peared to mock my hopes ; but I have not been willing to 
believe that I saw aright. On the contrary, I am convinced 
that chance only has brought me repeatedly into contact 
with people who are discontented with the state of things 
purely for this or that personal reason, or are not entirely 
satisfied at least with the present conditions, as some of the 
gentlemen whom I met at Count Golm's. I have not been 
restrained from voicing my opinion of the upper aristoc- 
racy, even as late as yesterday, in the presence of the skep- 
tical President in Sundin, but have rather given strong and 
open expression to my views. And now even here — ^in the 
bosom of my family — at your table. Uncle Ernst, who have 
fought so often and suffered so much for the honor and 
welfare of the Fatherland — this silence can no longer be 
fully maintained ; but I can surely expect a hearty under- 
standing and unconditional approval." 

Uncle Ernst had listened in silence, with his head resting 
on his hand ; now he suddenly lifted his head, and said with 
a voice that boded nothing good, "Pardon me for inter- 
rupting you to call your attention to the fact that I, too, 
agree not iu the least with what you say. It is always well 



STORM FLOOD 59 

for the speaker to know that h« does not have the listener 
on his side." 

There was an unusually sullen expression in his search- 
ing eyes. Reinhold was well aware of it ; he considered for 
a moment whether he should be silent or continue. But 
even if he remained but a few days this theme would still 
have to be discussed frequently, and if his uncle were still 
of a different opinion, as could no longer be doubted, it 
would be worth while to hear the views of such a man. 
So he went on, "I am very sorry, dear uncle, on account of 
the theme, and — pardon me for saying so — on your 
account." 

"I don't understand you." 

"I mean the question is so great and so weighty that it 
requires every pair of strong shoulders to move it; and 
it is so worthy and so holy that I am sorry for him who 
will not or cannot with full conviction participate in 
council and action. ' ' 

"Or 'cannot'!" exclaimed Uncle Ernst; "quite right! 
Did I not take part in counsel and action as long as I 
could — on the barricades, in those March days, in the na- 
tional convention, and everywhere and at all times when it 
was within human possibility — I mean when it was possible 
for an honorable man to put his shoulder to the wheel, as 
you said? I will not mention the fact that I pushed my 
shoulders sore in so doing — ^more than once; that they 
tricked me and molested me, dragged me from one peneten- 
tial stool to another, and occasionally, too, clapped me into 
prison — that belonged to the game, and better people than 
I fared no better, but even worse, much worse. In a word, 
it was a struggle — a hopeless struggle, with very unequal 
weapons, if you will, but stUl a struggle! But how is it 
now? It is a fair, an old-clothes shop, where they dicker 
to and fro over the counter, and auction off one tatter after 
another of our proud old banner of freedom to the man 
who carries them all in his pocket, and who, they know, 
carries them all in his pocket." 



60 THE GEEMAN CLASSICS 

The cloud on his brow ^grew more lowering, his dark 
brown eyes flashed, his deep voice grew sullen — a storm 
was coming; Eeinhold thought it advisable to reef a few 
sails. 

"I am not a politician. Uncle," he said. "I believe I 
have precious little talent for politics, and have at least 
had no time to cultivate such talent as I may possess. So 
I cannot contradict you when you say it is not altogether 
as it should be in this country. But then, too, you will grant 
me, as the aristocrats had to grant, that the question, 
viewed from the other side — I mean from abroad, from 
aboard ship, from a foreign harbor beyond the sea — makes 
a very different and much better impression; and I think 
you cannot blame me for thinking more favorably of the 
man — to put it flatly, for having a r«spect for him to whom 
we owe respect in the last analysis, a respect which the 
German name now enjoys throughout the world." 

' ' I know the song ! ' ' said Uncle Ernst. ' ' He sang it often 
enough, the sly old fowler, and still sings it every time 
when the bullfinches won't go into his net: 'Who is re- 
sponsible for 1864, for 1866, for 1870 1 I ! I ! ! I ! ! ! ' " 

"And isn't he right. Uncle?" 

"No, and a thousand times no!" exclaimed Uncle Ernst. 
' * Has one man sole claim to the treasure which others have 
dug up and unearthed from the depths of the earth with 
unspeakable toil and labor, simply because he removed the 
last shovelful of earth? Schleswig-Holstein would still- be 
Danish today if the noblemen had conquered it; Germany 
would still be torn into a thousand shreds if the noblemen 
had had to patch it together; the ravens would still flutter 
about the Kyffhauser, if thousands and thousands of pa- 
triotic hearts had not dreamed of German unity, had not 
thought of Germany's greatness day and night — the hearts 
and heads of men who were not rewarded for their services 
with lands and the title of Count and Prince, and were not 
pardoned." 

"I tell you. Uncle," said Eeinhold, "I think it is with 



STOEM FLOOD 61 

German unity as with other great things. Many fared in 
their imagination westward to the East Indies; in reality 
only one finally did it, and he discovered — America." 

"I thought," said Uncle Ernst solemnly, "that the man 
who discovered it was called Columbus, and he is said to 
have been thrown into prison in gratitude for it, and to 
have died in obscurity. The one who came after and pock- 
eted the glory, and for whom the land was named, was a 
wretched rascal not worthy to unloose the latchet of the 
discoverer's shoes." 

"Well, really!" exclaimed Eeinhold, laughing in spite 
of himself — "I believe no other man on the whole globe 
would speak in that way of Bismarck." 

"Quite possible!" replied Uncle Ernst; "and I do not 
believe another man on the globe hates him as I do. ' ' 

Uncle Ernst drained at one draught the glass he had just 
filled. It occurred to Eeinhold that his uncle had tipped 
the bottle freely, and he thought he noticed that the hand 
which raised the glass to' his mouth trembled a little, and 
that the hitherto steady gleam of his great eyes was 
dimmed and flickered ominously. 

"That is the result of my obstinacy," said Eeinhold to 
himself; "why excite the anger of the old graybeard? 
Every one has a right to look at things in his own wayl 
You should have changed the course of the conversation." 

On their way through the city he had given a brief 
account of the stranding of the steamer and the events that 
followed, so he could now without apparent effort resume 
the thread of his story there, and tell further how he had 
been kindly received by the President in Sundin and what 
prospects the President had held out to him. He described 
the manner of the man — how he at one time enveloped him- 
self in clouds of diplomacy and, at another, spoke of men 
and things with the greatest frankness, while at the same 
time, in spite of his apparent tacking, keeping his goal 
clearly in view. 

"You haven't drawn a bad portrait of the man," said 



62 THE GEEMAN CLASSICS 

Uncle Ernst. "I know Mm very well, ever since 1847, 
when he sat at the extreme right in the General Assembly. 
Now he belongs to the opposition — I mean to the concealed 
opposition of the old solid Bureaucracy, which bears a 
grudge toward the all-powerful Major Domus and would 
like, rather, to put an end to his clever economy, the sooner 
the better. He is not one of the worst; and yet I could 
wish that you hadn't gone quite so far with him." 

"I have not yet committed myself," said Reinhold, "and 
I shall not do so until I have convinced myself that I shall 
find in the position offered to me a sphere of action in 
keeping with my powers and qualifications. But, if that 
should be the case, then I should have to accept it." 

"Should 'have to'? Why?" 

"Because I have sworn to serve my country on land and 
sea," replied Eeinhold, with a smile. "The land service I 
have completed; now I should like to try the sea service." 

"It appears that 'service' has become a necessity with 
you," said Uncle Ernst with a grim smile. It was intended 
as scorn — so Eeinhold felt it; but he was determined not 
to yield to his opponent on a point which concerned, not 
himself, but his most personal views and convictions. 

"Why should I deny," he questioned, "that the rigid 
Prussian military discipline has made a very profound im- 
pression on me ? With us, in a small Republican community, 
everything is a little lax ; no one understands rightly the art 
of commanding, and no one will submit to commands. 
Then we go on board ship, where one alone commands and 
the others must obey. But no one has learned what he is 
now to do; the officers lack, only too often, the proper 
attitude; they proceed at random with abuse and noise, 
where a calm firm word would be more in place; another 
time they let things go at sixes and sevens, and give free 
rein when they should keep a tight rein. The men, for their 
part, are the less able to endure such irregular treatment, 
as they are mostly rough fellows, only waiting for the 
opportunity to throw off restraint, which chafes them. So 



STOEM FLOOD 63 

things do not move without friction of all sorts, and one 
may thank God if things don't come to a worse pass, and 
even to the worst, as indeed they unfortunately do, fre- 
quently enough, and as has happened to me more than 
once. And if one has been able to maintain authority with- 
out mishap during a long voyage and has finally estab- 
lished order and discipline among the men, by that time 
one is again in harbor ; and on the next voyage the dance 
begins again. In the army none of this is to be found. 
Every one knows in advance that unconditional obedience 
is his first and last duty ; indeed, what is still more impor- 
tant, every one, even the roughest, feels that disobedience 
is not simply a misdemeanor but folly, which, if it were 
permitted in even the slightest case, would of necessity 
destroy the whole organization — that our enormous, 
strangely complicated mechanism, which we call the Army, 
can work only when every one of the smallest wheels, and 
every one of the smallest cogs in the smallest wheel, per- 
forms in its place and time exactly what is prescribed. ' ' 

"For example, people who think differently about what 
benefits the country — those shot down in the trenches of 
Eastatt, and so forth, ' ' said Uncle Ernst. 

Eeinhold made no answer. What reply should he make? 
How could he hope to come to an understanding with a man 
whose views about everything were diametrically opposed 
to his own, who pushed his opinions to the last extremity, 
never making a concession even to a guest who, only an 
hour before, had been received with such cordiality as a 
father displays toward his own son returning from abroad? 

"Perhaps you have caused a rupture with him for all 
time," thought Eeinhold. "It is too bad; but you cannot 
yield, bound hand and foot, unconditionally, to the old 
tyrant ! If you cannot possibly touch chords which awaken 
a friendly response in his hard soul, let the ladies try to 
do so — and indeed that is their oflSce." 

Aunt Eikchen had evidently read the thought from his 
face. She answered his silent appeal with one of her 



64 THE GERMAN CLASSICS 

sharp, swift, furtive glances, and with light shrugs, of her 
shoulders, as if to say — "He's always so! It can't be 
helped." Ferdinande seemed not to notice the interrup- 
tion. She continued to gaze straight ahead, as she had 
done during the entire meal, with a strange, distracted, 
gloomy expression, and did not now stir as her aunt, bend- 
ing toward her, said a few words in a low tone. Uncle 
Ernst, who was just about to fill his empty glass again, set 
down the bottle he had raised. 

"I have asked you a thousand times, Eike, to stop that 
abominable whispering. What is the matter now 1 ' ' 

A swift flush of anger passed over Aunt Eikchen's 
wrinkled old-maidish face, as the distasteful name "Rike" 
fell upon her ear; but she answered in a tone of resigned 
indifference, in which she was accustomed to reply to the 
reprimand of her brother, "Nothing at all! I only asked 
Ferdinande if Justus was not coming this evening." 

"Who is Justus?" asked Reinhold, glad that some other 
subject had been broached. 

"Rike is fond of speaking of people in the most familiar 
way," said Uncle Ernst. 

"When they half belong to the family-, why not?" re- 
torted Aunt Rikchen, who seemed determined not to be in- 
timidated this time. ' ' Justus, or, as Uncle Ernst will have 
it, Mr. Anders, is a young sculptor " 

"Of thirty and more years," said Uncle Ernst. 

"Of thirty and more years, then," continued Aunt Rik- 
chen; "more exactly, thirty-three. He has been living, who 
knows how long, with us " 

"Don't you know, Ferdinande?" asked Uncle Ernst. 

"Ferdinande is his pupil, you know," continued Aunt 
Rikchen. 

"Oh!" said Reinhold; "my compliments." 

"It isn't worth mentioning," said Ferdinande. 

"His best pupil!" exclaimed Aunt Rikchen; "he told me 
so himself yesterday, and that your ' Shepherd Boy' pleased 
the' Commission very much. Ferdinande has a ' Shepherd 



STOEM FLOOD 65 

Boy' at the exposition, you know, suggested by Schiller's 
poem " 

"Uhland's poem. Aunt!" 

"I beg pardon — I haven't had the good fortune of an 
academic education, as others have! — I don't know now 
what I was about to say " 

"I guess it won't make much difference," growled Uncle 
Ernst. 

"You were speaking of Ferdinande's 'Shepherd Boy,' 
Aunt," said Eeinhold, coming to her aid. 

Aunt Eikchen cast a grateful glance at him, but, before 
she could answer, the bell rang in the hall and a clear voice 
asked, "Are the family still at the table?" 

"It's Justus!" cried Aunt Eikchen. "I thought it was 
you! Have you had supper?" 

[Justus blows in like a fresh breeze just in time for tea. 
He has a cheery word for each member of the family, and 
a hearty greeting for Eeinhold. He tells Eeinhold that 
Berlin is becoming a great metropolis, "fambs und 
famoser" every day. He tells Aunt Eikchen he has a new 
commission for a monument. Uncle Ernst interjects that 
Justus sets a new head on an old figure to make a Victoria 
or a Germania. Uncle Ernst thinks this a good symbol of 
German unity. Justus assures Eeinhold that this is Uncle 
Ernst's way; he is only envious; envy is his passion. He 
envies God for having made the world so beautiful ! Justus 
then proceeds, eating and drinking everything in sight be- 
tween the words, to describe his new monument — Germania 
on a stove mounted on a granite pedestal. On the funda- 
ment are to be reliefs, which Justus extemporizes on the 
spot, making Eeinhold a national guardsman with the 
wrinkles of the old servant GroUmann ; Uncle Ernst is to be 
the burgomaster, and Ferdinande the prettiest girl; Gen- 
eral von Werben extends his hand to the burgomaster on 
entering the city. This awakens Uncle Ernst's protest, as 
he hates the General. Ferdinande falls in a faint, and 
Vol. XI — 6 



66 THE GERMAN CLASSICS 

Uncle Ernst shows the effects of his wine. Ferdinande 
goes into the garden, and Justus and Eeinhold leave the 
room to retire. 

At breakfast Eeinhold has a confidential talk with Aunt 
Eikchen and learns many of the secrets of the family, espe- 
cially the breach between Uncle Ernst and Philip. Aunt 
Eikchen thinks Philip can't be so bad after all, when he 
stops his poor old aunt on the street and asks her if she 
wants any money. 

Eeinhold goes out of the house, with its gloomy asso- 
ciations, into the glorious sunshine. He sees Cilli, the blind 
daughter of Kreisel, Uncle Ernst's head bookkeeper, feel- 
ing her way along the iron fence, and notices that she has 
caught her apron in a thorn-bush. He comes to her relief 
and converses with her about the light, which she cannot 
see, and about the world, which she can only feel and hear. 
Her face is an animated ray of sunlight. 

Eeinhold starts out to find Uncle Ernst in his establish- 
ment. He passes Ferdinande 's studio and inquires of the 
young Italian, Antonio, whether Miss Schmidt is in. An- 
tonio makes an indifferent and rather impolite reply, that 
he doesn't know. After passing from one department to 
another, Eeinhold finally finds Uncle Ernst confronted by a 
group of socialistic strikers, and takes a stand close by his 
side. "We are all socialists," cries a voice from the group. 
His uncle, in his rage, orders the men to go and get their 
pay, and discharges them, as he declares that might goes 
before right and revolution has become permanent. He 
then sends Eeinhold to accompany Ferdinande to the Exhi- 
bition.] 

The young man in shirt-sleeves, who had given a rather 
discourteous answer to Eeinhold, after closing the door 
shook his fist, muttering a strong oath in his native tongue 
between his sharp white teeth. Then he stepped back into 
the inclosure and stole with noiseless tread to the door 
which separated this studio from the adjoining one. He 
put his ear to the door and listened a few minutes. A smile 



STOEM FLOOD 67 

of satisfaction lighted up Ms dark face; straightening up, 
he drew a deep breath and then, as noiselessly as a cat, 
stole up the iron steps of the winding staircase which led 
to the little room whence he had descended a few minutes 
before to answer Eeinhold's knock. 

After some minutes he came down the stairs again, this 
time without artfully concealing the noise, but stepping 
more heavily than was necessary and whistling a tune. He 
now had his coat and vest on, and wore patent-leather shoes 
on his narrow feet, at which he cast satisfied glances as he 
descended. Downstairs he stepped quickly before the 
Venetian mirror and repeatedly scanned his entire figure 
with the closest scrutiny, adjusted his blue cravat, pressed 
one of the gold buttons more firmly into his shirt front, 
and passed a fine comb through his blue-black curls, which 
shone like raven plumes. His whistling became softer and 
softer, and finally ceased. He turned away from the mir- 
ror, noisily moving one object after another, till he came 
directly up to the door at which he had listened shortly 
before. He reached out and seized a footstool, which he 
had placed against the wall at arm's length for the pur- 
pose, and now stepped upon it and put his eye to the door, 
as he had his ear a while before — ^very close; for he had 
with great pains bored a hole with the smallest auger, and 
had experienced great difficulty in learning to see through 
it into the adjoining room, or the place where she was 
accustomed to work. The blood flushed his dark cheeks as 
he peeped through. "Oh, bellissima!" he whispered to 
himself, pressing a fervent kiss upon the wood. 

All at once he jumped away — noiselessly as a cat; the 
seat stood again by the wall, and he himself stood before 
the half-finished statue of a female figure of heroic size, 
as a knock was heard at the door on the other side — 
' ' Signer Antonio ! ' ' 

"Signbra?" called the young man from where he sat. 
He had taken up his mallet and chisel, evidently only better 
to play the role of one surprised. 



68 THE GERMAN CLASSICS 

"Can you come in a moment, Signor Antonio? Fatemi 
il piacere!" 

"Si, Signora!" 

He threw down the tools and ran to the door, the bolt of 
which was already shoved back. Notwithstanding the 
request, he knocked before opening it. 

"Ma — entratel — How finely you have fixed yourself up, 
Signor Antonio!" 

Antonio dropped his eyelashes, and his glance glided 
down his slender figure to the points of his patent-leather 
shoes — ^but only for a moment. The next instant his black 
eyes were fastened with a melancholy, passionate expres- 
sion upon the beautiful girl, who stood befote him in her 
simple dark house-dress and her work-apron, holding the 
modeling tool in her hand. 

"You do not need to make yourself beautiful. You are 
always beautiful." 

He said this in German. He was proud of his German, 
since she had praised his accent repeatedly during the 
Italian lessons he had given her, and had said that every 
word sounded to her, when he uttered it, new and precious, 
like an acquaintance one meets in a foreign land. 

"I think I am anything but beautiful, this morning," 
said Ferdinande. "But I need your help. My model did 
not come ; I wanted to work on the eyes today. You have 
prettier eyes than your countrywomen, Antonio; do pose 
for me — only a few minutes." 

A proud smile of satisfaction passed over the beautiful 
face of the youth. He took the same attitude toward 
Ferdinande that she had given her statue. 

"Fine!" she said. "One never knows whether you are 
greater as actor or as sculptor." 

"Un povero ahhozzatore!" he muttered. 

"You are not a workingman!" said Ferdinande. "You 
know you are an artist. ' ' 

"I am an artist as you are a princess!" 

"What do you mean by that?" 



STOEM FLOOD 69 

"I was born to be an artist and yet am not one, as you 
were born to be a princess and yet are not one." 

"You are crazy!" 

It was not a tone of irritation in which she said this; 
there was something like acquiescence in it, which did not 
escape the ear of the Italian. 

"And now you know it," he added. 

She made no reply, and kept on with her work, but only 
mechanically. ' ' She called you to tell you something, ' ' said 
Antonio to himself. 

"Where were you last evening, Antonio?" she asked 
after a pause. 

"In my club, Signora." 

"When did you come home?" 

"Late." 

"But when?" 

"At one o'clock, ma perchef" 

She had turned around to her little table on which lay 
her tools, which she was fingering. 

"I only asked the question. We did not go to bed till 
late at night. We had a visitor — a cousin of mine — there 
was much talking and smoking — I got a fearful headache, 
and spent an hour in the garden. Will you pose again? 
Or shall we give it up? It is hard for you; I think you 
look tired. ' ' 

' ' No, no ! " he muttered. 

He took the pose again, but less gracefully than before. 
Strange thoughts whirled through his brain, and made his 
heart throb. — "When did you come home?" — "I was in the 
garden for an hour. ' ' — Was it possible — ^but no, no, it was 
impossible, it was chance ! But if he had met her alone in 
the garden, alone, late at night — ^what would he have said, 
what would he have done ? 

His eyes swam — he pressed his hands, which he should 
have held to his brow, to his eyes. 

"What is the matter?" exclaimed Ferdinande. 



70 THE GEEMAN CLASSICS 

His hand dropped; his eyes, which were fixed upon her, 
were aflame. 

"What is the matter with me?" he muttered. "What is 
the matter with me? — Ho — non lo so neppur io: una febbre 
che mi divora, ho, che il sangue mi abbrucia, che il cervello 
mi si spesza; ho in f,ne, che non ne posso piu, che sono 
stance di questa vita!" 

Ferdinande had tried to resist the outbreak, but without 
success. She shook from head to foot; from his flaming 
eyes a spark had shot into her own heart, and her voice 
trembled as she now replied with as much composure as she 
could command, ' ' You know I do not understand you when 
you speak so wildly and fast." 

"You did understand me," muttered the youth. 

"I understood nothing but what I could see without all 
that — that 'a fever consumes you, that your blood chokes 
you, that your brain is about to burst, that you are tired of 
this life' — in German; that 'you sat too late at your club 
last night, and raved too much about fair Italy, and drank 
too much fiery Italian wine.' " 

The blue veins appeared on his fine white brow ; a hoarse 
sound like the cry of a wild beast came from his throat. 
He reached toward his breast, where he usually carried his 
stiletto — the side pocket was empty — ^his eyes glanced 
about as if he were looking for a weapon. 

' ' Do you mean to murder me ? ' ' 

His right hand, which was still clutching his breast, re- 
laxed and sank; his left also dropped, his fingers were 
interlocked, a stream of tears burst from his eyes, ex- 
tinguishing their glow; he fell on his knees and sobbed: 
" Pardonatemi! Ferdinanda, I'ho amata dal primo giorno 
che I'ho veduta, ed adesso — ah! adesso " 

"I know it, poor Antonio," said Ferdinande, "and that 
is why I pardon you — once more-— for the last time! If 
this scene is repeated I shall tell my father, and you will 
have to go. And now, Signor Antonio, stand up!" 



STORM FLOOD 71 

She extended her hand, which he, still kneeling, pressed 
to his lips and his forehead. 

"Antonio! Antonio!" echoed the voice of Justus out- 
side ; immediately there was a rap upon the door which led 
to the court. Antonio sprang to his feet. 

"Is Antonio here, Miss Ferdinande?" 

Ferdinande went herself to open the door. 

"Are you still at work?" inquired Justus, coming in. 
— "But I thought we were going with your cousin to the 
Exhibition?" 

"I am waiting for him; he has not yet appeared; just 
go on ahead with Antonio ; we shall meet in the sculpture 
gallery. ' ' 

' ' As you say ! — What you have done today on the eyes is 
not worth anything — an entirely false expression! You 
have been working without your model again; when will 
you come to see that we are helpless without a model! 
— Andiamo, Antonio! If you are not ashamed to cross the 
street with me ! ' ' 

He had taken a position by the side of the Italian as if 
he wished to give Ferdinande the pleasure he found in con- 
trasting his short stout figure, in the worn velvet coat and 
light trousers of doubtful newness, with the elegant, slen- 
der, handsome youth, his assistant. But Ferdinande had 
already turned away, and only said once more, "in the 
sculpture gallery, then!" 

"Dunque — andiamo!" cried Justus; "a rivederci!" 

[Ferdinande says Antonio is the only one, after all, who 
understands her. She then reads a letter which she has 
received from Ottomar over the garden wall. Ottomar 
speaks only of meeting her, but says nothing of seeing 
her father, or of more serious purposes. Eeinhold knocks 
on her studio door, enters, and sees how the artists live in 
a world of their own. Ferdinande says her father does 
not care what she does so long as she can have her own 
way. Eeinhold inspects her work and the studio.] 

"But now I am afraid you will spoil me so thoroughly 



72 THE GERMAN CLASSICS 

that I shall find it difficult to get back into my simple life," 
said Reinhold, as he sped on at the side of Ferdinande in 
his uncle's equipage through the Thiergartenstrasse to the 
Brandenburgerthor. 

"Why do we have horses and a carriage if we are not 
to use them?" inquired Ferdinande. 

She had leaned back against the cushions, just touching 
the front seat with the point of one of her shoes. Eein- 
hold's glance glided almost shyly along the beautiful figure, 
whose splendid lines were brought out advantageously by 
an elegant autumn costume. He thought he had just dis- 
covered for the first time how beautiful his cousin was, and 
he considered it very natural that she should attract the 
attention of the motley throng with which the promenade 
teemed, and that many a cavalier who dashed by them 
turned in his saddle to look back at her. Ferdinande 
seemed not to take any notice of it; her large eyes looked 
down, or straight ahead, or glanced up with a dreamy, 
languid expression to the tops of the trees, which, likewise 
dreamy and languid, appeared to drink in the mild warmth 
of the autumn sun without stirring. Perhaps it was this 
association of ideas that caused Eeinhold to ask himself 
how old the beautiful girl was; and he was a little aston- 
ished when he calculated that she could not be far from 
twenty-four. In his recollection she had always appeared 
as a tall, somewhat lank young thing, that was just about 
to unfold into a flower — but, to be sure, ten years had gone 
since that. Cousin Philip — at that time likewise a tall, thin 
young fellow — ^must already be in the beginning of his 
thirties. 

A two-wheeled cabriolet came up behind them and passed 
them. On the high front seat sat a tall, stately, broad- 
shouldered gentleman, clad with most precise and some- 
what studied elegance, as it appeared to Reinhold, who, 
with hands encased in light kid gloves, drove a fine high- 
stepping black steed, while the small groom with folded 
arms sat in the low rear seat. The gentleman had just 



STOEM FLOOD 73 

been obliged to turn out for a carriage coining from the 
opposite direction, and his attention had been directed to 
the other side; now — at the distance of some carriage 
lengths — ^he turned upon his seat and waved a cordial 
greeting with his hand and whip, while Ferdinande, in her 
careless way, answered with a nod of her head. 

"Who was that gentleman?" asked Eetnhold. 

"My brother Philip." 

"How strange!" 

"Why so?" 

"I was just thinking of him." 

"That happens so often — and particularly in a large 
city, and at an hour when everybody is on the go. I shall 
not be surprised if we meet him again at the Exhibition. 
Philip is a great lover of pictures, and is not bad himself 
at drawing and painting. There, he is stopping — I thought 
he would — Philip understands the proprieties." 

At the next moment they were side by side with the 
cabriolet. 

"Good morning, Ferdinande! Good morning, Eeinhold! 
Stunning hit that I strike you on the first day! Wretched 
pun, Ferdinande — eh? Looks fine, our cousin, with his 
brown face and beard — ^but he doesn't need to be ashamed 
of the lady at his side — eh? Where are you going — to the 
Exhibition? That's fine! We'll meet there. — My nag acts 
like crazy today. — Au revoir!" 

With the tip of his whip he touched the black horse, 
which was already beginning to rear in the traces, and sped 
off, nodding back once more over his broad shoulders. 

"I should not have recognized Philip again," said Eein- 
hold. "He doesn't resemble you — I mean Uncle and you — 
at all." 

In fact, a greater contrast is scarcely conceivable than 
that between the broad, ruddy, beardless, clean-shaven face 
of the young man, with his closely clipped hair, and the 
splendid face of Uncle Ernst, with its deep furrows and 



74 THE GERMAN CLASSICS 

heavy growth of gray hair and beard, or the stately pallor 
and aristocratic beauty of Ferdinande. 

"Lucky for him!" cried Ferdinande. 

"Lucky?" 

"He is, as he appears, a man of his time; we are 
medieval ghosts. For that reason he moves about as a 
ghost among us — ^but it is not his fault." 

"Then you are on his side in the rupture between him 
and Uncle?" 

' ' The rest of us at home are never asked for our opinion ; 
you must take note of that for the future." 

"Also for the present," thought Reinhold, as Ferdinande 
sank back among the cushions. 

"Ghosts are never one's favorite company, much less on 
such a beautiful sunny day. There are so many good 
happy people — sweet little Cilli, for example — and — of 
whom one thinks, him he meets!" As if wishing to make 
up in all haste for what he had foolishly neglected in the 
morning, he now tried to direct his thoughts to her whose 
image he believed he had forever in his soul, but which 
would not now appear. — "The throng is to blame for it," 
he said impatiently. 

They were in the worst of the jam now, to be sure. A 
regiment was marching down Friedrichstrasse across the 
Linden with the band playing. The throng of pedestrians 
pressed back on both sides, particularly on that from which 
they came ; in the midst of them mounted and unmounted 
policemen were striving with persuasion and force to 
maintain order and keep back the throng which now and 
then gave audible expression to their indignation. 

The annoying delay seemed to make Ferdinande impa- 
tient, too; she looked at her watch. — "Already half -past 
twelve — we are losing the best part of the time." At last 
the rear of the battalion came along, while the van of the 
next battalion, with the band playing, came out of Fried- 
richstrasse again, and the throng of people pressed on 
with a rush through the small space in wild confusion. 



STORM FLOOD 75 

— "On! On! Johann!" cried Ferdinande, with an impa- 
tience which Reinhold could explain only by the anxiety 
which she felt. They got out of one crowd only to get into 
another. 

In the first large square room of the Exhibition — the so- 
called clock room— a throng of spectators stood so closely 
jammed together that Reinhold, who had Ferdinande 's 
arm, saw no possibility of advance. "There are not so 
many people in the side rooms," said Ferdinande, "but we 
must stand it a little while here ; there are always good pic- 
tures here ; let us separate — ^we can then move more freely. 
What do you think of this beautiful Andreas Achenbach? 
Isn't it charming, wonderful! In his best and noblest 
style! Sky and sea — all in gray, and yet — how sharply 
the individual details are brought out! And how well 
he knows how to enliven the apparent monotony by means 
of the red flag there on the mast at the stern of the steamer, 
and by the flickering lights on the planks of the bridge wet 
with spray here at the bow — ^masterful! Simply mas- 
terful!" 

Reinhold had listened with great pleasure to Ferdi- 
nande 's enthusiastic description. "Here she can speak!" 
he thought; "well, to be sure, she is an artist! You can see 
all that too, but not its significance, and you wouldn't be 
able to explain why it is so beautiful." 

He stood there, wrapped in contemplation of the picture. 
— "What manoeuvre would the captain make next! He 
would doubtless have to tack again to get before the wind, 
but for that he was already a ship's length or so too near 
the bridge — a devilish ticklish manoeuvre." 

He turned to communicate his observation to Ferdi- 
nande, and just missed addressing a fat little old lady, who 
had taken Ferdinande 's place and was eagerly gazing 
through her lorgnette, in company with a score of other 
ladies and gentlemen standing closely together in a semi- 
circle. Reinhold made a few vain efforts to escape this im- 
prisonment and to get to Ferdinande, whom he saw at a dis- 



76 THE GEEMAN CLASSICS 

tance speaking with some ladies, so absorbed that she did 
not turn even once, and had evidently forgotten him. — ^An- 
other advantage of freedom of movement — ^you can also 
make use of that ! — A picture nearby had attracted his* at- 
tention — ^another sea view by Hans Gude, as the catalogue 
said — which pleased him almost better than the other. To 
the left, where the sea was open, lay a large steamer at an- 
chor. On the shore, which curved around in a large bend, in 
the distance among the dunes, were a few fisher huts, with 
smoke rising from the chimneys. Between the village and 
the ship a boat was passing, while another, almost entirely 
in the foreground, was sailing toward the shore. The 
evening sky above the dunes was covered with such thick 
clouds that the smoke could hardly be distinguished from 
the sky; only on the extreme western horizon, above the 
wide open sea, appeared a narrow muddy streak. The 
night was likely to be stormy, and even now a stiff breeze 
was blowing; the flags of the steamer were fluttering 
straight out and there was a heavy surf on the bare 
beach in the foreground. Reinhold could not take his 
eyes from the picture. Thus it was, almost ex- 
actly, on that evening when he steered the boat from 
the steamer to the shore. There in the bow lay 
the two servants, huddled together; here sat the Presi- 
dent, with one hand on the gunwale of the boat and the 
other clutching the seat, not daring to pull up the 
blanket which had slipped from his knees ; here the General 
with the collar of his mantle turned up, his cap pulled down 
over his face, staring gloomily into the distance ; and here, 
close by the man at the helm, she sat — looking out so boldly 
over the green waste of water, and the surf breaking be- 
fore them; looking up so freely and joyously with her dear 
brown eyes at the man at the helm! — ^Reinhold no longer 
thought of the pressing throng about him, he had forgotten 
Ferdinande, he no longer saw the picture ; he saw only the 
dear brown eyes ! 



STOEM FLOOD 77 

"Do you think they will get to shore without a compass, 
Captain?" asked a voice at his side. 

The brown eyes looked up at him, as he had just seen 
them in his dream ; free and glad ; glad, too, was the smile 
that dimpled her cheeks and played about her delicate lips 
as she extended her hand to him, without reserve, as to an 
old friend. 

"When did you come?" 

"Last evening." 

' ' Then of course you haven't had time to ask after us and 
get your compass. Am I not the soul of honesty?" 

"And what do you want of it?" 

"Who knows? You thought I had great nautical talent; 
but let us get out of the jam and look for my brother, whom 
I just lost here. Are you alone?" 

' * With my cousin. ' ' 

' ' You must introduce me to her. I have seen lier ' Shep- 
herd Boy' down stairs-charming! I have just learned 
from my brother that your cousin did it, and that we are 
neighbors, and all that. — ^Where is she?" 

"I have been looking around for her, but can't find her." 

"Well, that's jolly! Two children lost in this forest of 
people ! I am really afraid. ' ' 

She wasn't afraid. — Eeinhold saw that she wasn't; she 
was at home here; it was her world — one with which she 
was thoroughly acquainted, as he was with the sea. How 
skUfuUy and gracefully she worked her way through a 
group of ladies who were not disposed to move ! How un- 
concernedly she nodded to the towering officer, who bowed 
to her from the farthest corner of the room, above the 
heads of several hundred people ! How she could talk over 
her shoulder with him, who followed her only with difficulty, 
when he was at her side, until they reached the long narrow 
passage in which the engravings and water colors were 
exhibited. 

"I saw my brother go in here," she said. "There — no. 



78 THE GERMAN CLASSICS 

that was von Saldern ! Let us give him up ! I shall find 
him soon— and you your cousin." 

"Not here, either." 

"It doesn't make any difference; she will not lack com- 
panions, any more than we. Let's chat a little until we 
find them; or do you want to look at pictures? There are 
a few excellent Passinis here." 

"I prefer to chat." 

"There is no better place to chat than at an exhibition, 
in the first days. One comes really to chat, to see one's 
acquaintances after the long summer when everybody is 
away, to scan the newest fashions which the banker's wife 
and daughters have brought back from Paris — ^we ladies of 
the oflScers don't play any role — one has an awful lot to 
do, and the pictures won't run away. You are going to 
spend the winter with us, my brother says?" 

"A few weeks at least." 

"Then you'll remain longer. You can't believe how in- 
teresting Berlin is in winter ! And for you, too, who have 
the entree into so many circles ! Your uncle entertains in 
grand style, my brother says, from whom I have all my 
wisdom; artists go and come — as a matter of course, when 
the daughter herself is an artist, and pretty besides! Is 
she really so pretty? I'm so curious! At our house it's 
more quiet, and a little monotonous — always the same peo- 
ple — officers — ^but there are some fine men among them 
who will appeal to you, and among the ladies a few lovely, 
beautiful women and girls. This is familiar talk. And 
then Miss von Strunmain is coming — Mieting! She prom- 
ised me to do so at Golmberg, with a thousand pledges, and 
has already written half a dozen letters on the subject — 
she writes every day — sometimes two letters a day; the 
last one was entirely about you." 

"That makes me curious." 

"I believe it; but I shall take care not to tell you what 
was in it; you men are already vain enough. Papa, too, 
is very fond of you; did you know that?" 



STOEM FLOOD 79 

"No, I did not know it; but I don't know of anything 
that would make me prouder. ' ' 

"He said — only yesterday evening, when Ottomar told 
us about meeting you, and that he had met you in Orleans 
— ^it was too bad that you didn't remain in the army; you 
would have had an easy time of it. You could still reenter 
any moment." 

"Very kind! I thought of it myself during the cam- 
paign, and, if the campaign had lasted longer, who knows? 
But in time of peace ! A second lieutenant at thirty years 
—that wouldn't do!" 

"Of course, of course! But how would it be with the 
marine? That could certainly be arranged, and you could 
remain in your profession. ' ' 

"I should be glad to remain in that, of course," an- 
swered Eeinhold, "and I am just revolving in my mind 
a proposal which President von Sunden has made me 
recently, and which would advance me at once to the rank 
of commander." 

' ' To the rank of commander ! ' ' exclaimed Else with won- 
dering eyes. 

' ' To the rank of Pilot Commander. ' ' 

"Oh!" 

There was disappointment in the exclamation, which did 
not escape Eeinhold, and he continued with a smile : ' ' That 
is, the command of a few dozen rough, seasoned, seaworthy 
men, and of a dozen capable, seaworthy, fast sailing craft, 
among them, I hope, also one or two life-boats — a modest 
position but yet one not without honor, and certainly full 
of dangers ; all in all, a position of sufficient importance to 
justify any one who does not make any great claims on 
life, but is willing to exercise his capabilities in the service 
of the world, in devoting to it and risking for it, his powers 
and abilities and whatever else he has to give. And I — 
I should incidentally remain in my profession." 

They stood at a window, a little apart from the throng 
of people which was surging just now up and down the 



80 THE GERMAN CLASSICS 

long corridor with particular vivacity. Else, leaning gently 
against the window-sill, was looking with fixed eyes toward 
the street. Reinhold almost doubted whether she had 
heard what he said, when, suddenly lifting her head, she 
answered with the cheerful face of a few minutes before, 
"You are right — that is your real calling. Accepting the 
proposal which the dear old man has made to you, you have 
friends in all circles. Is it a question of some particular 
position, if I may ask?" 

"Yes, I should have my post at Wissow." 

"At Wissow f" 

She clapped her hands and laughed. "At our Wissow? 
No, but that is too delightful! Then we should be half 
neighbors from Warnow and also from Strummin, when 
I make my promised visit to Mieting ! Then we shall come, 
and you shall go sailing with us — ^but far, far out! Will 
you do it?" 

"As far as you wish!" 

"Done! And now we must continue our journey of dis- 
covery. Good gracious! Princess Heinrich August, with 
the princesses! The unfortunate Passinis! She has cer- 
tainly seen me — rshe sees everything at a glance; I can't 
get away now. — But " 

"I am going!" said Reinhold. 

"Yes, do; it is better! Here — give me your hand! 
Good-by!" She extended her hand which Reinhold held 
for a second; her eyes were turned again to the princess. 
He went down the corridor. When he turned again for a 
moment at the end of the corridor, he saw Else just making 
a deep curtsy to the princess. The noble lady had stopped 
and was speaking to Else. 

"How will she get out of it," thought Reinhold. "She 
cannot say she has been in the bay window speaking with 
a pilot commander m spe." 

Ferdinande had talked with her friends so long in the 
clock room that she thought she noticed that Reinhold, 
who had repeatedly looked around for her, now having 



STORM FLOOD 81 

dismissed her from his mind for' the moment, was fully 
occupied in examining the pictures. Then, bowing to the 
ladies, she moved on with the crowd, which pressed toward 
the side room, stopping a few moments at the entrance to 
make sure that Reinhold was not following her; then, 
with quick steps and wearing the expression of a lady 
looking for her lost companion, giving only a quick nod to 
passing acquaintances, she went on through this room, the 
sky-light room, and the. fourth room, from there turning 
into the long series of small rooms which extended along 
the larger, and into which but few visitors came, even in 
the first days of the exhibition. 

Today it was comparatively empty, although here and 
there -scattered visitors strolled past, scanning the pictures 
with hasty, feverish curiosity, not stopping long anywhere, 
but occasionally casting a glance of admiration at an 
officer who appeared to be absorbed in a few medieval land- 
scapes. Now his interest seemed satisfied; he walked 
quickly up the passageway, until a picture at the far end 
again attracted his attention ; it was the same one at which 
Ferdinande had been looking. The light fell so unfavor- 
ably upon the picture that it could be seen to advantage 
only from one place, and the officer had to approach very 
close to the lady — ^brushing her gown in doing so. "Par- 
don ! " he said aloud, and then in a low tone, which reached 
her ear alone, "Don't turn round till I tell you to do so! 
Speak toward the corner; no one can notice it. First, 
thank you!" 

"For what?" 

"For coming." 

"I only came to tell you that I can't bear it any longer." 

"Do I have nothing to bear?" 

"No — in comparison with me." 

"I love you, as you do me." 

"Prove it!" 

"How?" 

"By actions, not questions!" 
Vol. XI — e 



82 THE GERMAN CLASSICS 

"But if my hands are bound." 

"Break the bonds!" 
'I cannot." 
'Farewell!" 

She turned toward the entrance through which she had 
come ; he forgot all rules of propriety and stepped in front 
of her. They stood face to face, looking into each other's 
eyes. 

"Ferdinande!" 

' ' I wish to proceed ! ' ' 

"You must hear me! For Heaven's sake, Ferdinande, 
such an opportunity will not come again — perhaps for 
weeks." 

She laughed scofi&ngly. "We have time enough!" 

Again she tried to pass him ; again he stopped her. 

"Ferdinande!" 

"Once more: Let me pass! You need an opportunity? 
Such a good one to get rid of me may never come again." 

He stepped aside Avith a bow; she might have gone un- 
hindered, but did not do so ; hot tears filled her large eyes ; 
she did not dare to ^o into the throng, but turned again 
toward the picture, while he took the same discreet pose 
as before. 

"Be gracious, Ferdinande! I looked forward eagerly to 
this moment — why do you embitter for both of us the 
precious minutes? You know, you must know, that I am 
resolved upon the last extremity, if it must be. But we 
cannot take the final step without considering everything." 

"We have considered for six months." 

"Over the garden wall, in words which were only half 
understood; in letters, which never say what we mean 
to say. That is nothing. You must give me an appoint- 
ment, for which I have so often asked. Shall my hand 
never rest in yours, my lips never touch yours? And you 
ask for proofs of my love ! ' ' 

She looked at him with a side glance, gazed into his 
beautiful, light-brown, nervous eyes. Two more beautiful. 



STOEM FLOOD 83 

two darker eyes, had looked at her an hour before with 
passionate fervor; she had resisted them, but she did not 
resist these. Her eyelids dropped. "I cannot do it," she 
stammered. 

"Say: 'I do not wish to do it.' I have made countless 
proposals. I asked to be presented to your brother at 
the club, recently. He was delighted to make my acquaint- 
ance — gave me a pressing invitation to call upon him — ^to 
see his pictures. How easily we could meet there ! ' ' 

"I am not allowed to visit my brother — ^have not been 
allowed to do so for a long time — and now, since last 
evening ! ' ' 

"Then your cousin! He will surely come to see us; I 
shall return his call — ^your father certainly cannot show 
me the door!" 

"I have thought of that, and prepared him for it. It 
would, in any case, be only a few minutes." 

' ' Then I shall consider farther ; if I only know that you 
wish it, I shall find a way and write you, or rather tell you 
as soon as you give the sign." 

" I no longer dare to do it. ' ' 

"Why not?" 

' ' Some one is watching me at every step ; I am not secure 
in his presence for a moment — Antonio — I told you about 
it ; I am afraid. ' ' 

"Yes, you are always afraid." 

He made a quick, uneasy movement toward the recess of 
the window near which he was standing. At the same mo- 
ment a strikingly handsome, well-dressed young man van- 
ished through the door at the other end of the gallery, in 
which h6 had been standing for some time, so concealed 
that, by bending a little to the left, he viewed the recess of 
the window and the strange couple there with his falcon-like 
black eyes, without running great risk of being detected. 
In an emergency he needed only to spring into the throng 
which filled the larger side rooms. He had seen enough, 
and darted back. 



84 THE GERMAN CLASSICS 

When Ottomar, after looking out of the window a few 
seconds, turned to speak to Ferdinande a conciliatory word 
which was on his lips and in his heart, the place was empty. 

Ferdinande had not been able to do otherwise. Her lady 
friends, with whom she had conversed a little while before, 
had just passed the door of the side room next to which 
she stood, fortunately without noticing her. But they had 
stopped close to the door — the dress of one of them was 
still in sight. 

[While viewing the pictures, Madame von Wallbach asks 
her husband, Edward, who the striking figure is coming 
toward them. It is Count Golm, who is presented and con- 
verses with them about Italy and Paris. Else and Ottomar 
are referred to. Golm asks who Ottomar is. In the course 
of the conversation Carla intimates her relations with Otto- 
mar, whom Golm wishes to meet. Princess Heinrich 
August comes along with her suite, speaking with Else, 
and, recognizing Golm, inquires about his island. 

Philip comes upon Eeinhold at the exhibition and con- 
verses with him in a friendly way, mentioning Bismarck 
as his great hero, much to Eeinhold 's delight. He then 
refers to his father in severe words and points out a 
nouveau riche, who but two years ago was a dabbler, and 
is today thrice a millionaire. Philip says that he himself 
is rich and is expecting large dividends soon. He asks 
Eeinhold to share with him, but Eeinhold declines, having 
saved a small sum himself. They step aside as the prin- 
cess comes along with Else, Golm, and her suite. Philip 
meets Ferdinande again and talks with her. Ottomar is 
in the crowd, also talking to Carla, in close proximity to 
Ferdinande. Antonio is spying on Ferdinande and Otto- 
mar, with curses on his lips. 

Count Golm and Privy Councilor Schieler are at the 
Hotel Eoyal discussing the new projects for a north or an 
east harbor of the Sundin-Wissow railroad. The Count 
wants the east harbor; Schieler says he is no longer an 



STORM FLOOD 85 

official and has no influence. The Count speaks of his debts 
— fifty thousand thaler, due in October, and his account 
not particularly good with Liibbener. Schieler tells him 
he should marry a rich woman; suggests Else von Werben, 
mentioning the fact that Wallbach, a director of the rail- 
road, is also trustee of the Wamow estates, and that Otto- 
mar is engaged to Wallbach 's clever sister, Carla. Wall- 
bach calculates that half of the estate, if sold to the rail- 
road, would be worth three or four times as much as the 
whole of it is now, but he hesitates to give advice in the 
matter. The Count proposes to buy the property at a 
lower rate and to sell it to the railroad. But they are reck- 
oning without their host, Valerie, Baroness Warnow, who 
has, with her fifty years, acquired the right of a voice in 
administering the affairs of the estates; but Giraldi, her 
chamberlain, companion, and what not, is the power be- 
hind her. Schieler then tells Golm the history of Valerie, 
gives him an account of the will of her husband, and con- 
vinces the Count that the interests of the railroad and of 
Golm are identical. Schieler and Golm then go to call on 
Philip Schmidt, the general promoter of the raUroad. 

Schieler has prepared Philip for the visit, and told him 
that Golm must be won over. Philip shows Schieler and 
Golm his pictures. The Count is pleased and flattered, 
and offers Philip the hospitality of Gohnberg. Golm 
learns how Philip, a plain master mason, has come up by 
his intelligence, inventive genius, energy, and speculation, 
especially as promoter of the railroad scheme. Liibbener, 
previously notified by Schieler, drops in at Philip's to see 
Golm. Eef reshments are served, and Philip, as a bluff, pre- 
tends to banish business. Victorine, a mezzo-soprano, and 
Bertalde, a dancing girl, and, later, Ottomar come in, and 
make a breezy scene. The company, as a jest, constitutes 
itself a committee of promoters. 

General von Werben is at work in his study. Aunt Si- 
donie is working on her book on Court Etiquette, Ottomar 
has not returned from drill, Else is reading Mieting's let- 



86 THE aEEMAN CLASSICS 

ters — one saying that Mieting will fall in love with Eein- 
hold if Else does not want him, and that she is coming to 
make conquest; the second that Mieting has misunderstood 
Else's letter at the first reading, and having re-read it, 
is not coming. Sidonie and Else discuss the question of 
inviting Eeinhold to the ball, and decide that Ottomar is 
to deliver the invitation in person. Else is worried at Otto- 
mar's disturbed state of mind, and charges him with not 
loving Carla, Ottomar admits that he intends to marry 
Carla for her five thousand income, and taunts Else with 
having acquired her wisdom in love matters from Count 
Golm. Else resents this, and then tells Ottomar that his 
father wishes him to deliver the invitation. Ottomar de- 
murs, and, going to his room, finds a letter on the table 
from his father, saying that he has paid twelve hundred 
thaler of Ottomar 's debts — the last he will pay. 

Eeinhold tries to change Uncle Ernst's attitude toward 
his socialistic workmen. Kreisel comes in to tell Uncle 
Ernst that he is going to his own funeral, and to ask for 
his discharge, for he too is a socialist. Philip interviews 
his father in the interests of the railroad, offering to buy 
out his plant, but, meeting with a rebuff, goes away. 

Cilli asks Eeinhold how Uncle Ernst received her father's 
resignation, and then gives Eeinhold an account of her 
blindness. Philip finds Eeinhold with Cilli and accuses him 
with strengthening Uncle Ernst's prejudice against the 
railroad. Ottomar comes in to give Eeinhold the invitation 
to the ball, and then views the work in the studio. Philip 
tells Justus that he will have half a street to his credit for 
his sculpture. Ottomar siezes an opportunity to kiss Fer- 
dinande and make an appointment with her in the Bellevue 
Garden at eight o'clock. Antonio enters and takes in the 
situation. 

Ferdinande tells Aunt Eikchen that she is to take supper 
with Miss Marfolk, a painter, to meet Professor Seefeld 
of Karlsruhe. Eeinhold prepares to go to the Werben 
ball. Aunt Eikchen suggests to Ferdinande that she marry 



STOEM FLOOD 87 

Eeinhold herself, greatly to her astonishment. Antonio 
heightens the embarrassment by coming to give Ferdinande 
the lesson, which was to come on the following morning. 
Ferdinande sends him off, takes a cab to the Grosser Stern, 
while Antonio follows her in another cab. Ottomar, clad 
as a civilian, meets Ferdinande at the Grosser Stern.] 

Meanwhile the cab had gone only a short distance, as 
far as the entrance to Bellevue Garden. "It is entirely 
safe here, I swear it is, ' ' Ottomar whispered, as he helped 
Ferdinande alight. The cabman put his dollar contentedly 
into his pocket and drove off; Ottomar took Ferdinande 's 
arm and led the confused, anxious, dazed girl into the 
garden; he heard plainly her deep breathing. "I swear it 
is safe here," he repeated. 

"Swear that you love me! That's all I ask!" 

Instead of answering he placed his arm about her; she 
embraced him with both arms; their lips touched with a 
quiver and a long ardent kiss. Then they hurried hand in 
hand further into the park till shrubbery and trees inclosed 
them in darkness, and they sank into each other's arms, 
exchanging fervent kisses and stammering love vows — 
drunk with a bliss which they had so long, long dreamed, 
but which was now more precious than all their happy 
dreams. 

So felt Ferdinande, at least, and so she said, while her 
lips met his again and again, and so said Ottomar; and 
yet in the same moment in which he returned her fervent 
kisses there was a feeling that he had never before known 
— a shuddering fear of the fever in his heart and hers, a 
feeling as of fainting in contrast to the passion which sur- 
rounded and oppressed him with the violence of a storm. 
He had sported with women before, considered his easy 
victories as triumphs, accepted the silent worship of beau- 
tiful eyes, the flattering words of loving lips, as a tribute 
which was due him and which he pocketed without thanks — 
but here — for the first time — he was the weaker one. He 



88 THE GERMAN CLASSICS 

was not willing to confess it, but knew, as a practised 
wrestler knows after the first grip, that he has found his 
master and that he will be overcome if chance does not 
come to the rescue. Indeed, Ottomar was already looking 
for this chance — any event that might intervene, any cir- 
cumstance which might serve to his advantage; and then 
he blushed for himself, for his cowardice, this base in- 
gratitude toward the beautiful, precious creature who had 
thrown herself into his arms with such confidence, such 
devotion, such self-forgetfulness ; and he redoubled the ten- 
derness of his caresses and the sweet flattery of words 
of love. 

And then — that anxious feeling might be a delusion ; but 
she, who had done what he so often, so beseechingly asked, 
had at last granted him the meeting in which he wished to 
set forth his plans for the future — she had a right, she 
must expect, that he would finally unfold the plan for that 
future with which he seemed to have labored so long, and 
which was just as hazy to him as ever. He did not believe, 
what she declared to be true, that she wished nothing but 
to love him, to be loved by him, that everjrthing of which 
he spoke — ^his father — ^her father — circumstances which 
must be considered — diflSculties which must be overcome — 
everything, everything, was only a mist which vanishes 
before the rays of the sun, trifles not worth mentioning, 
causing them to waste even a moment of the precious time, 
even a breath of it! He did not believe it; but he was only 
too willing to take her at her word, already releasing him- 
self silently from the responsibility of results, which such 
neglect of the simplest rules of caution and prudence might 
have, must have. 

And then he forgot the flying moment, and had to be 
reminded by her that his time was up, that they were ex- 
pecting him at home, that he must not reach the company 
too late. 

"Or will you take me along?" she asked. "Will you 
enter the reception-room arm in arm with me and present 



STORM FLOOD 89 

me to the company as your betrothed? You shall not have 
cause to be ashamed of me ; there are not likely to be many 
of your friends whom I cannot look down upon, and I 
have always found that to be able to look down on others 
is to be half noble. To you I shall ever have to look up ; tall 
as I am, I must still reach up to you and your sweet lips. ' ' 

There was a strange proud grace in the jest, and tender- 
est love in the kiss, which her smiling lips breathed upon 
his ; he was enchanted, intoxicated by this lovely grace, this 
proud love ; he said to himself that she was right — he said 
so to her — and that she could compare with- any queen in 
the world; that she deserved to be a queen — and yet, and 
yet ! If it had not been a jest, if she had demanded it seri- 
ously, what — ^yet she some time would demand it I 

"That was the last kiss," said Ferdinande; "I must be 
the more prudent one, because I am so. And now give me 
your arm and conduct me to the nearest cab, and then you 
will go straight home and be very fine and charming this 
evening, and break a few more hearts in addition to those 
you have already broken, and afterwards lie at my feet 
in gratitude for my heart, which is larger than all theirs 
together." 

It was almost dark when they left the silent park. The 
sky was all covered with clouds from which heavy drops 
of rain were beginning to fall. Fortunately an empty cab 
came along which Ferdinande could take to the Branden- 
burgerthor, there to step into another and thus obliterate 
every trace of the way she had gone. Ottomar could throw 
a kiss to her once more as he lifted her into the cab. And 
she leaned back into the seat, closed her eyes, and dreamed 
the blissful hour over again. Ottomar looked after the cab. 
It was a wretched nag, a wretched cab ; and as they disap- 
peared in the dark through the faint light of the few street 
lamps, a strange feeling of awe and aversion came over 
him. ' ' It looks like a hearse, ' ' he said to himself ; " I could 
hardly take hold of the wet doorhandle ; I should not have 
had the courage to ride in the rig — the affair puts one into 



90 THE GERMAN CLASSICS 

a strangely uncomfortable situation, indeed. The road 
home is no joke, either — it is nearly nine o'clock — and be- 
sides it is beginning to rain very hard." 

He turned into the Grosser-Stern- AUee, the shortest way 
home. It was already growing dark so fast among the 
great tree trunks that he could distinguish only the hard 
walk upon which he was moving with hurried steps ; on the 
other side of the broad bridle-path, where a narrow foot- 
path ran, the trunks of the trees were scarcely distinguish- 
able from the blackness of the forest. He had ridden up 
and down this beautiful avenue countless times — alone, with 
his comrades, in the brilliant company of ladies and gentle- 
men — how often with Carla! Else was right! Carla was 
a skilful horse-woman, the best, perhaps, of all ladies, and 
certainly the most graceful. They had both so often been 
seen and spoken of together — it was, in fact, quite im- 
possible to sever their relationship now; it would make a 
fearful fuss. 

Ottomar stopped. He had gone too fast; the perspira- 
tion rolled from his brow; his bosom was so oppressed that 
he tore open his coat and vest. He had never known the 
sensation of physical fear before, but now he was terrified 
to hear a slight noise behind him, and his eyes peered 
anxiously into the dark — ^it was probably a twig which 
broke and fell. "I feel as if I had murder on my soul, or 
as if I myself were to be murdered the next moment," he 
said to himself, as he continued his way almost at a run. 

He did not imagine that he owed his life to the breaking 
of that twig. 

Antonio had lain in wait all this time at the entrance 
to the avenue as if bound by magic, now sitting on the iron 
railing between the foot-path and the bridle-path, now go- 
ing to and fro, leaning against the trunk of a tree, continu- 
ally engrossed in the same dark thoughts, projecting plans 
for revenge, exulting in imagining the torturies which he 
was to inflict upon her and upon him as soon as he had 
them in his power, directing his glance from time to time 



STOEM FLOOD 91 

across the open place to the entrance of the other avenue 
into which the cab had disappeared with the two people, 
as if they must appear there again, as if his revengeful 
soul had the power to force them to come this way. He 
could have spent the whole night like a beast of prey that 
lies sullenly in his lair in spite of gnawing hunger, raging 
over his lost spoil. 

And what was that? There he was, coming across the 
place, right toward him ! His eye, accustomed to the dark- 
ness, recognized him clearly as if it had been bright day. 
Would the beast have the stupidity to come into the avenue 
— to deliver himself into his hand? Per bacco! It was so 
and not otherwise; then — after a short hesitation — ^he 
turned into the avenue — to the other side, to be sure ; but 
it was all right; he could thus follow him on his side so 
much the more safely ; then there was only the bridle-path 
to leap across, in the deep sand in which his first steps 
would certainly not be heard, and then — with a few springs, 
the stiletto in his neck, or, if he should turn, under the 
seventh rib up to the hilt! 

And his hand clutched the hilt as if hand and hilt were 
one, and with the finger of the other hand he tested over 
and over the needle-point, while he stole along from tree 
to tree in long strides — softly, softly — the soft claws of a 
tiger could not have risen and fallen more softly. 

Now half of the avenue was passed; the darkness could 
not become more dense now; it was just light enough to 
see the blade of the stiletto. One moment yet to convince 
himself that they were alone in the park; he over there, 
and himself — and now, crouching, over across the soft sand 
behind the thick trunk of a tree which he had already se- 
lected as the place! 

But quickly as the passage was made, the other had now 
won a handicap of perhaps twenty paces. That was too 
much; the distance would have to be diminished by half. 
And it could not be so difficult; he still had the soft sand of 
the bridle-path to the right of the trees, while the other one 



92 THE GERMAN CLASSICS 

was going to the left on the hard foot-path, where his foot- 
steps would drown any slight noise. There! Maledetto di 
Dio — a dry twig broke with a crack under his stealthy foot. 
He crouched behind the tree — he could not be seen ; but the 
other must have heard it; he stopped — listened, perhaps 
expecting his antagonist — in any case now no longer un- 
prepared — ^who knows? — a brave man, an officer — turning 
about, offering his front to his antagonist. So much the 
better! Then there would be only a leap from behind the 
tree ! And — he was coming ! 

The Italian's heart throbbed in his throat as he now, 
advancing his left foot, held himself ready to leap ; but the 
murderous desire had dulled his othermse sharp senses ; the 
sound of the st6ps was not toward him but toward the op- 
posite side ! When he became aware of his mistake the dis- 
tance had increased at least twofold — and threefold before 
he could determine in his amazement what was to be done. 

To give up the chase ! Nothing else remained. The beast 
was now almost running, and then a belated cab rattled 
down the street which intersected the avenue, and beyond 
the street were crossways to the right and left. It was not 
safe to do the deed ; there was no certainty of escape after- 
wards — the moment was lost — for this time! But next 

time ! Antonio muttered a fearful curse as he put his 

stiletto back into its sheath and concealed it in his coat- 
pocket. 

The other had vanished; Antonio followed slowly along 
the same road, out of the park across the Thiergarten- 
strasse into the Springbrunnenstrasse to the front of the 
house in which the hated one lived. The windows were 
brightly illuminated. An equipage came up ; an officer and 
richly gowned ladies, wrapped in their shawls, alighted; 
a second equipage followed — he was laughing and reveling 
up there now, and whispering into the ear of one of the 
fair ladies who had alighted what he had whispered ten 
minutes before to Ferdinande. If only he could inspire 
her with the poisonous jealousy which consumed his own 



THE LOAN-OFFICE 



From ihe Painting by Michael von Munhdc'sy 



STORM FLOOD 93 

heart! If he could bring about something between her and 
him which would be insurmountable! If he could betray 
the whole thing to the grim signor, her father, or to the 
proud general, his father, or to both 

"Hello!" 

A man coming along the pavement had run into him as 
he leaned on the iron railing of a front yard, arms folded, 
and had uttered the exclamation in a harsh voice. 

"Scusi!" said the Italian, lifting his hat. "Beg your 
pardon ! ' ' 

' ' Hello ! ' ' repeated the man. " Is it you, Antonio ? ' ' 

"0 Signor EoUer! Mr. Inspector!" 

" Signor EoUer ! Mr. Inspector ! That's enough Signor- 
ing and Inspectoring, " said the man, with a loud laugh — 
"for the present, at least, till we have given it to the old 
man — to him and his nephew and his whole brood! If I 
could only get at the throat of all of them — could only play 
them a real trick! I'd be willing to pay something for it! 
Only I have no money! It's all up!" 

The man laughed again ; he was evidently half drunk. 

"I have money," said Antonio quickly, "and " 

"Then we'll take a drink, Signor Italiano," exclaimed 
the other, slapping him on the shoulder. "Una bottiglia 
— capisci? Ha! ha! I have not entirely forgotten my 
Italian! Carrara — ^marble oxen — capisci? — capisci?" 

"Eccomi tutto a voi," said the Italian, taking the man's 
arm. "Whither?" 

' ' To business, to the devil, to the cellar I ' ' exclaimed Rol- 
ler, laughingly pointing to the red lantern above the saloon 
at the corner of the Springbrunnenstrasse. 

[The three upper rooms of the General's villa are ar- 
ranged for a ball. Else appears in a blue gown, but is 
quite displeased with herself. All looks blue. It is Otto- 
mar's fault, as usual; he has gone out and not returned. 
And then Wallbach doesn't love Luise, nor Luise him. The 
men spend so much money. Ottomar is deep in debt ; War- 



94 THE GERMAN CLASSICS 

tenberg can't get along with his twenty thousand, and 
Clemda with his fifty thousand spends twice that much 
every year. Aunt Sidonie comes in, and is charmed with 
Else's tarletan; she tells Else she looks just like her prin- 
cess in. the book she is writing, and then refers to Count 
Golm as a good match for Else. Else is infuriated, says 
she would not marry Golm if he laid a crown at her feet. 
The General comes in and Schieler enters and gives the 
General an account of the railroad project, touching upon 
the sale of Valerie's estates to Golm, and suggests Golm 
as a prospective husband for Else.] 

The Count had entered a few minutes before in his pro- 
vincial uniform with the order of St. John. The reception- 
room had become almost filled with guests meanwhile, and 
it was with some difficulty that he made his way to the 
hostesses. Else had not spared him this trouble, to be 
sure; at this moment, when he caught sight of her at the 
door, she was eagerly continuing the conversation, which 
she had begun with Captain von Schonau, so eagerly that 
the Count, having spoken to Sidonie, stood behind her for 
half a minute without being noticed, till Schonau finally 
thought it his duty to draw her attention to the new guest 
with a gesture, and the words, "I think, Miss Else " 

"I think myself fortunate," said the Count. 

"Oh! Count Gohn!" said Else, with a well feigned sur- 
prise. "Pardon me for not seeing you at once! I was so 
absorbed. May I make the gentlemen acquainted: Cap- 
tain von Schonau of the General Staff — a good friend of 
our family — Count von Golm. Have you seen Papa, Count? 
He is in the other room. Then, dear Schonau " 

The Count stepped back with a bow. 

"That was a bit severe, Miss Else," said Schonau. 

"What?" 

Schonau laughed. 

"You know. Miss Else, if I were not a most modest man 



STORM FLOOD 95 

I should have all sorts of possible and impossible silly no- 
tions in my head. ' ' 

"How so?" 

"Why, my heavens, didn't you see that the Count was 
on the point of extending his hand and stepped back with 
a face as red as my collar? Such things a young lady like 
Miss Else von Werben overlooks only when she wishes to 
do so, which is hardly the case, or if she — I shall not ven- 
ture to finish the sentence. Who is that?" 

"Who?" 

' ' The officer there — ^yonder to the left, next to the Baron- 
ess Kniebreche — see, at the right ! — ^who is speaking to your 
father, a stately man — has a cross, too. How did he get 
here?" 

Else had to decide now to see Eeinhold, though her heart 
throbbed quickly and she was vexed at it. She was already 
vexed that, in her conduct toward the Count, she had ex- 
posed and. almost betrayed herself to the sharp eyes of 
Schonau ; now it was to happen again ! 

"A Mr. Schmidt," she said, pressing more firmly the 
rosebud in her hair. "Sea captain. We made his ac- 
quaintance on the journey; Papa was greatly pleased with 
him " 

' ' Eeally a fine looking man, ' ' repeated Schonau. Splen- 
did manly face, such as I like to see, and not without car- 
riage ; and yet one recognizes the officer of the reserve at 
the first glance. ' ' 

"By what?" asked Else, as her heart began to throb 
again. 

' ' That you should know as well and better than I, as you 
associate more with the Guard than I do! Compare him 
with Ottomar, who seems to have been late again and wishes 
to atone for his sins by being doubly amiable! Just see 
with what perfect form he kisses the hand of old Baroness 
Kniebreche, and now turns on his heel and bows to Coun- 
tess Fischbach with a grace which the great Vestris him- 
self might envy! Allans^ mon fils, montrez voire talent. 



96 THE GERMAN CLASSICS 

And now he converses with Sattelstadt — not a line too little, 
not one too much ! To be sure, it is a little unfair to com- 
pare the gentlemen of the reserve with the model of all 
knightly form. Don't you think so?" 

Else gazed straight ahead. Schonau was right; there 
was a difference! She would have preferred to see him 
as he strode up and down the deck in his woolen jacket; 
then she had envied him the steadiness and freedom of his 
movements — and when afterwards he sat at the hehn of. 
the boat, and steered it as calmly as the rider his rearing 
steed! If only he hadn't come just at this time! 

Then Eeinhold, who had been conversing with her father, 
excused himself with a friendly nod, and catching sight of 
Else, turned about and came straight toward her. Else 
trembled so that she had to steady herself with her left 
hand against the arm of the chair, for she wished to re- 
main entirely cool and unconscious; but as he stepped up 
to her, his beautiful honest eyes still aglow from the gra- 
cious greeting accorded him by her father, and a certain 
shyness in his open manly face, which seemed to ask, "Shall 
I be welcomed by you, too?" — ^her heart grew warm and 
kind; even though her hand remained on the arm of the 
chair, she extended to him the other at full length ; her dark 
eyes sparkled, her red lips laughed, and she said, as heartily 
and frankly as if there had not been a fairer name in the 
world — "Welcome to our house, dear Mr. Schmidt!" 

He had grasped her hand and said a few words which she 
only half heard. She turned around to Schonau ; the Cap- 
tain had vanished; a flush came to her cheeks. "It doesn't 
matter," she muttered. 

"What does not matter. Miss Else?" 

"I shall tell you later, when there is to be some dancing 
after dinner; to be sure I don't know " 

"Whether I dance? Indeed I am passionately fond of 
it." 

"The Rhinelander, too?" 

"The Ehinelander, too! And, in spite of your incredu- 



STORM FLOOD 97 

lous smile, not so badly that Miss von Werben should not 
give me the honor," 

"The Rhinelander, then! All the rest I have declined. 
Now I must mingle with the company. ' ' 

She gave a friendly nod and turned away, but turned 
quickly again. 

' ' Do you like my brother? ' ' 

"Very much!" 

"I wish so much that you might become intimate with 
each other. Do make a little effort. Will you?" 

"Gladly." 

She was now really much occupied. Keinhold, too, min- 
gled with the company, without any of the misgivings which 
he had felt upon entering the brilliant circle of strangers. 
For he had now been received by the hostess as a dear 
friend of the family 1 Even the eyes of her stately aunt had 
glanced at him with a certain good-natured curiosity, for- 
mal as her bow had been ^ on the other hand, her father had 
shaken his hand so heartily and after the first words of 
welcome, drawing him aside with evident confidence, said 
to him: "I must first of all make you acquainted with 
Colonel von Sattelstadt and Captain von Schonau, both 
of the General Staff. The gentlemen will be eager to hear. 
Please express yourself with entire freedom — I consider 
that important. I have yet a special request in the matter, 
which I wish to communicate to you as soon as I get that 
far. Then I shall see you later ! ' ' 

' ' That was already flattering enough for the simple Lieu- 
tenant of the Eeserve," Reinhold had thought to himself, 
as he went up to Else. And she! her kindness, her gra- 
ciousness ! He felt like a Homeric hero, who hoped, silently 
indeed, that the goddess to whom he prayed would be 
gracious to him, and to whom the divinity appears in per- 
son, in the tumult of battle, beckoning with immortal eyes 
and words which his ear alone hears. What mattered it to 
him now that the gold lorgnette of old Baroness Knie- 
breche was turned upon him so long with such an unneces- 
VoL. XI — 7 



98 THE GERMAN CLASSICS 

sary stare, and then let drop with a movement which only 
too plainly said, "That was worth the effort!" What did 
he care that Count Golm looked past him as long as it was 
possible, and, when the manoeuvre once utterly failed, 
slipped by him with an angry, snarling, "0, O, Captain — 
Very happy!" That the bow of young Prince Clemda 
might have been a little less indifferent when he was intro- 
duced! What difference did it make to him? And those 
were the only signs of unfriendly feeling which he had en- 
countered in a quite numerous company during the hour 
just passed. Otherwise, amiable, natural friendliness on 
the part of the ladies, and polite comradeship on the part 
of the gentlemen, officers almost without exception, had 
been the rule throughout; even Prince Clemda seemed to 
wish to atone for his coolness, suddenly coming up to him 
and speaking through his nose a few phrases from which 
Reinhold heard with some clearness: "Werben — Orleans 

— Vierzon — Devil of a ride — sorry " 

The acquaintance of von Sattelstadt and von Schonau 
was the most agreeable to him. They came up to him aU 
most at the same time and asked him if he was inclined to 
give them his views concerning the practicability and value 
of constructing a naval station north of Wissow Hook. 
"We both know the locality very well," said the Colonel; 
' ' are also both — the Captain a little more than I — opposed 
to the project. We have conferred frequently with the 
gentlemen of the Ministry, of course ; but nevertheless, or, 
rather, now in particular, it would be of the greatest inter- 
est and most decided importance to hear the view of an 
intelligent, entirely unprejudiced and unbiased seaman, 
who is fully acquainted with the conditions — ^if he has in 
addition, as you have. Captain, the military eye of a cam- 
paign officer. Let us sit down in this little room — there is 
another chair, Schonau! And now, I think it is best that 
you allow us to ask questions ; we shall come most easily 
and clearly to the point in that way. We do not wish to 
tax you long." 



STORM FLOOD 99 

"I am at the service of the gentlemen!" said Reinhold. 

The gentlemen intended to make only the most modest 
use of the permission thus granted; but as Eeinhold had 
to go more into detail at times in order to answer the 
questions put to him, the conversation lasted much longer 
than anyone had intended, and, as it appeared, than he 
himself had realized. Flattering as was the respectful at- 
tention with which the two officers listened to his explana- 
tions, sincerely as he admired the keenness, the exactness, 
and the extent of the information exhibited by each of their 
questions, each word — ^nevertheless he could not resist cast- 
ing a glance through the door of the room into the recep- 
tion-room where the company was still mingling freely in 
the accustomed manner; and through the reception-room 
into the smaller room on the other side of the reception- 
room, in which a group of younger ladies and gentlemen 
had collected, among whom Reinhold noticed Ottomar and 
the lady who had been pointed out to him at the exhibition 
as Miss von Wallbach, and Count Golm, and, finally, Else 
too. A lively discussion was going on there, so that one 
could hear it across the reception-room, although only an 
occasional word could be understood. And Schonau's at- 
tention also was finally attracted to it. "I'll wager," he 
said, "that they are disputing about Wagner; when Miss 
von Wallbach is presiding, Wagner must be the subject of 
discussion. I would give something, if I could hear what 
ideas she is bringing forward today." 

"That is to say, dear Schonau, if I am not mistaken, 'I 
would give something, if Sattelstadt would finally stop,' " 
said the Colonel with a smile. "Well, to be sure, we have 
tried the patience of our comrade longer than was right 
or proper." 

He rose and extended his hand to Reinhold, Schonau pro- 
tested ; he had thought least of all of that which the Colonel 
imputed to him. The Colonel shook his finger. "Shame 
on you, Schonau, to betray your mistress! That is, you 
must know, comrade, the noble Dame Musica — for her he 



100 THE GEEMAN CLASSICS 

goes through fire and flood, and lets the naval station go to 
the dickens ! March, march, Schonau ! ' ' And off they went. 
Schonau laughed, but left, taking with him Eeinhold, who 
followed without reluctance, as he would thus have the 
best opportunity of coming into the presence of Else and 
Ottomar, the latter of whom he had seen and saluted hastily 
a few minutes before. 

[Ottomar returns and quite outdoes himself in his atten- 
tions to the ladies, much to the disquietude of Baroness 
Kniebreche and Carla. The Baroness finally brings Otto- 
mar and Carla together, and delivers a little homily to 
them but without improving their relations. Ottomar 
thinks to himself that the four charming girls with whom he 
is talking would not make one Ferdinande from whom he 
has just parted. And suppose he did have a hostile en- 
counter with Wallbach, it would only be the fourth in four 
years; and if the bullet did hit him, it would only be the 
end of his debts and his amours! Ottomar is asked to 
introduce his friend Eeinhold. Clemda tells Ottomar that 
he is to marry Antonie in a month, and that they wish 
Carla to be a bridesmaid. Colonel von Bohl tells Ottomar 
that he can hardly begin his furlough before spring, as 
Clemda 's time is to be extended, and then speaks of a 
possible post at St. Petersburg for Ottomar. Ottomar is 
embarrassed and runs into a group of ladies gathered 
around Carla, who is discoursing about Wagner. Count 
Golm is shrewd enough not to express his opinion about 
Wagner as a great musician, but Ottomar, to the great 
confusion of the Baroness and Carla, says he thinks the 
whole Wagner business is a humbug ! 

Supper is announced. Else implores Ottomar to take 
Carla to supper and repair the injury he has done, but 
Carla has taken Golm's arm. Else urges Ottomar not to 
let Golm beat him out. The polka starts. The General, see- 
ing Eeinhold disengaged, asks him whether he dances? 
Eeinhold says he does, but is waiting for the chat which 



STORM FLOOD 101 

the General had requested. The General proceeds to un- 
fold the railroad scheme, and elicits Eeinhold's opinion. 
At the close of the ball, the General finds a letter telling of 
Ottomar's escapade with Ferdinande.] 

The last carriage had rolled away; the servants were 
cleaning up the rooms under the direction of Sidonie ; Else, 
who had usually relieved her aunt of the duties of the 
house, had withdrawn with the excuse that she felt a little 
tired, in order to allow the pleasant echo of the delightful 
evening to pass through her thoughts again while she sat in 
the quiet of her room, undisturbed by the clatter of chairs 
and tables. It would not have been at all necessary for 
him to dance the Ehinelander with such grace ; she would 
have given him in the waltz, also, the great flaming favor 
which she had placed at the bottom of the basket, and 
which she drew, luckily, with a bold grab, when it came 
her turn to fasten it with her trembling hands next to the 
iron cross on his breast.' Yes, her hands had trembled and 
her heart had throbbed as she accomplished the great work 
and now looked up into his beaming eyes; but it was for 
joy, for pure joy and bliss. And it was joy and bliss also 
which now let her fall asleep, after she had laid her great- 
est treasures, the sketch-book with his picture and the little 
compass, upon her dressing-table, and put out the light — 
but again lighted it to cast a glance at the compass-box and 
assure herself that "it was always true" and "sought its 
master," and then opened the sketch-book at the place 
where it always opened of itself, to look at his picture once 
more — no, not the picture — it was horrible! — ^but at the 
signature: "With love!" Secretly, very secretly to im- 
press a kiss upon it, and then quickly, very quickly, to put 
out the light, to press her head into her pillow, and, in her 
dreams, to look for him to whom she was ever true, dream- 
ing or waking — who, she knew, would ever be true to her, 
waking or dreaming. 

Ottomar, too, had taken leave of the ladies, as the last 



102 THE GEEMAN CLASSICS 

guests left, with a hasty, "Good-night! I'm tired enough 
to drop! Where is Father?" and had gone downstairs 
without waiting for an answer to his question. In the hall 
which led to his room he had to pass his father's room. 
He had stopped a moment. His father, who had gone down 
a few minutes before, was certainly still up, and Ottomar 
had, on such occasions, always knocked and said at least, 
through the open door, "Good night!" This time he did 
not do it. "I am tired enough to drop," he repeated, as if 
he wished to excuse himself for the violation of a family 
custom. But, on reaching his room, he did not think of 
going to bed. It would not have been any use as long as 
the blood was raging through his veins "as if I were 
crazy," said Ottomar, opening his uniform covered with 
cotillion favors, and throwing it down. He opened his vest 
and collar, and got into the first piece of clothing that came 
to his hand — his hunting jacket-^and seated himself with 
a cigar at the open window. The night was perceptibly 
cool, but the cool air was grateful to him ; lightning flashed 
from the black clouds, but he took no notice of it ; and thus 
he sat looking out on the black autumn night, puffing his 
cigar — revolving his confused thoughts in his perturbed 
mind, and not hearing, because of the throbbing of his 
pulse in his temples and the rustling of the wind in the 
branches, that there had twice been a knock at his door; 
shrinking like a criminal, as now the voice sounded close 
in his ear. It was August. 

"I beg your pardon. Lieutenant! I have already 
knocked several times." 

"What do you want?" 

"The General requests the Lieutenant to come to him 
at once." 

"Is Father sick?" 

August shook his head. ' ' The General is still in his uni- 
form and doesn't look sick, only a little " 

"Only a little what?" 



STOEM FLOOD 103 

The man ran his fingers through his hair. "A little 
strange, Lieutenant! I think, Lieutenant, the General " 

"The devil! Will you speak?" 

August came a step nearer, and said in a whisper, "I 
think the General received a bad letter a while ago — it may 
have been half-past eleven. I didn't see the one who 
brought it, and Friedrich didn't know him, and he prob- 
ably went away immediately. But I had to take the letter 
to the General myself, and the General made a curious face 
as he read the letter " 

"From a lady?" 

August could not suppress a smile in spite of the genuine 
concern which he felt for his young master. "I — he said 
— they looked differently — one will get over that in time — a 
highly important letter " 

"These damned Manichseans ! " muttered Ottomar. He 
did not understand the connection; the next note was not 
due for eight days — but what else could it be? His father 
would make another beautiful scene for him! Oh, pshaw! 
He would get engaged a few days earlier, if he must get 
engaged, if it were only finally to put an end to the dis- 
graceful worries from which he had no rest at night in 
his room, and couldn't smoke his cigar in peace! 

He threw his cigar out of the window ; August had taken 
his uniform and removed the cotillion favors. "What's 
that for?" 

"Does the Lieutenant prefer to put on his uniform?" 
asked August. 

"Nonsense!" said Ottomar. "That was just lacking 
to " 

He broke off ; for he could not tell August — to make the 
tedious story still more tedious and more serious. ' ' I shall 
simply explain to Papa that in the future I do not intend 
to molest him further with such things, and prefer to have 
my affairs finally arranged by Wallbach," he said to him- 
self, while August went on ahead with the light — ^the gas 



104 THE GERMAN CLASSICS 

lights in the hall were already extinguished — down the hall, 
and now stopped at his father's door. 

"You may put the light on the table there, and as far. 
as I am concerned, go to bed, and tell Friedrich to wake 
me at six o'clock in the morning." 

He had spoken these words more loudly than was neces- 
sary, and he noticed that his voice had a strange sound — 
as if it were not his own voice. It was, of course, only be- 
cause everything was so still in the house — so stiU that he 
now heard the blood coursing in his temples and his heart 
beating. 

"The damned Manichseans ! " he muttered again through 
his teeth, as he knocked at the door. 

' ' Come in ! " 

His father stood at his desk, above which a hanging lamp 
was burning. And the lamps were still burning on the 
brackets before the mirror, there was an uncanny bright- 
ness in the room, and an uncanny order, although it was 
just exactly as Ottomar had seen it as long as he could 
remember. He ought really to have put on his uniform 
after all. 

"I beg pardon, Papa, for coming in neglige. I was 
just about to go to bed, and August was so insistent " 

His father still stood at the desk, resting one hand on 
it, turning his back to him. without answering. The silence 
of his father lay like a mountain on Ottomar 's soul. He 
shook off with a violent effort the sullen hesitation. ' ' What 
do you want, Papa?" 

"First, to ask you to read this letter," said the Greneral, 
turning around slowly and pointing with his finger to a 
sheet which lay open before him on his desk. 

"A letter to me!" 

"Then I should not have read it; but I have read it." 

He had stepped back from the desk, and was going up 
and down the room with a slow, steady step, Ms hands 
behind him, while Ottomar, in the same place where his 



STOEM FLOOD 105 

father had stood without taking the sheet in his hands — 
the handwriting was clear enough — read : 

"Highly Honored and Eespected General: 

"Your Honor will graciously excuse the undersigned for 
venturing to call your Honor 's attention to an affair which 
threatens most seriously to imperil the welfare of your 
worthy family. The matter concerns a relationship which 
your son, Lieutenant von Werben, has had for some time 
with the daughter of your neighbor, Mr. Schmidt, the pro- 
prietor of the marble works. Your Honor will excuse the 
undersigned from going into details, which might better 
be kept in that silence in which the participants — to be 
sure, in vain — strive to preserve them, although he is in a 
position to do so; and if the undersigned requests you to 
ask your son where he was this evening between eight and 
nine o 'clock, and with whom he had a rendezvous, it is only 
to indicate to your Honor how far the aforementioned rela- 
tionship has already prcTgressed. 

' ' It would be as foolish as unpermissible to assume that 
your Honor is informed of all this and has winked at it, 
so to speak, when your son is on the point of engaging him- 
self to the daughter of an ultraradical Democrat; on the 
contrary the undersigned can picture to himself in advance 
the painful surprise which your Honor must feel on read- 
ing these lines ; but, your Honor, the undersigned has also 
been a soldier and knows what a soldier's honor is — as he 
for his part has respected honor his whole life long — and 
he could no longer look on and see this mischievous ma- 
chination carried on behind the back of such a brave and 
deserving officer by him, who more than any other, appears 
to be called to be the guardian of this honor. 

"The undersigned believes that, after the above, there 
is no need of a special assurance of the high esteem with 
which he is to your Honor and your Honor's entire family 

"A most faithful devotee." 



106 THE GERMAN CLASSICS 

The General allowed his son some minutes; now that 
Ottomar still stared motionless before him — only his teeth 
bit nervously against his pale lower lip — ^he remained stand- 
ing, separated by the width of the room, and asked : * ' Have 
you an idea who wrote this letter?" 

"No." 

"Have you the least suspicion who is the lady in ques- 
tion ?" 

"For Heaven's sake!" exclaimed Ottomar in anguish. 

"I beg pardon; but I am in the painful situation of hav- 
ing to ask, since you seem inclined not to give the informa- 
tion which I expected." 

"What shall I explain in the matter?" asked Ottomar 
with bitter scorn. " It is as it is. ' ' 

"Brief and to the point," replied the General, "only not 
just so clear. There still remain some poiats which are 
obscure — to me, at least. Have you anything to object to 
the lady — I may so express myself?" 

"I should have to request you to do so otherwise." 

"Then have you anything, even the slightest thing — ex- 
cepting external circumstances, and of that later — ^which 
would prevent you from bringing her into Else's company? 
On your honor!" 

"On my honor, no!" 

"Do you know anything at all, even the slightest, con- 
cerning her family, excepting external circumstances, which 
would and must prevent another officer, who is not in your 
exceptional position, from connecting himself with the 
family? On your honor!" 

Ottomar hesitated a moment before answering. He knew 
absolutely nothing touching Philip's honor; he maintained 
toward him the native instinct of a gentleman who, in his 
eyes, was not a gentleman ; but it seemed to him cowardice 
to wish to conceal himself behind this feeling. 

" No ! " said he solemnly. 

"Have you acquainted the lady with your circum- 
stances?" 



STOEM FLOOD 107 

"In a general way, yes." 

"Among other things, that you are disinherited as soon 
as you marry a lady who is not of noble family?" 

"No." 

' ' That was a little imprudent ; nevertheless I understand 
it. But in general, you said, she does understand the diffi- 
culties which will accompany a union between her and you 
in the most favorable case? Did you have her understand 
that you neither wish nor are in a position to remove the 
difficulties?" 

"No." 

"But led her to believe, perhaps assured her, that you 
could and would remove them?" 

"Yes." 

"Then you will marry the lady?" 

Ottomar quivered like a steed when his rider drives the 
spurs into its flanks. He knew that would be, must be, the 
outcome of it ; nevertheless, now that it was put into words, 
his pride revolted against any one forcing his heart, even 
his father. Was he to be the weaker one throughout — to 
follow where he did not wish to go — to allow his path to 
be prescribed by others ? 

' * Not by any means ! " he exclaimed. 

"How? Not by any means?" returned the General. "I 
surely have not to do here with an obstinate boy, who 
breaks up his plaything because it does not amuse him any 
longer, but with a man of honor, an officer, who has the 
habit of keeping his word promptly?" • 

Ottomar felt that he must offer a reason — the shadow 
of a reason — something or other. 

"I think," he said, "that I cannot decide to take a step in 
a direction which would put me into the position of neces- 
sarily doing an injustice in another direction." 

"I think I understand your position," said the General. 
"It is not pleasant; but when one is so many sided he 
should be prepared for such things. Besides, I owe you 
the justice to declare that I am beginning to inform myself, 



108 THE GEEMAN CLASSICS 

now, at least, as to your conduct toward Miss von "Wallbach, 
and I fail to find the consistency in that conduct which, to 
be sure, you have unfortunately never led me to expect. 
According to my conception, it was your duty to retire, 
once for all, the moment your heart was seriously engaged 
in another direction. In our close relations with the Wall- 
bachs it would, indeed, have been very difScult and impleas- 
ant, but a finality ; one may be deceived in his feelings, and 
society accepts such changes of heart and their practical 
consequences if all is done at the right time and in the 
right manner. How you will make this retreat now without 
more serious embarrassment I do not know; I only know 
that it must be done. Or would you have pursued the wrong 
to the limit, and bound yourself in this case as you did 
in that?" 

"I am not bound to Miss von Wallbach in any way ex- 
cept as everybody has seen, by no word which everybody 
has not heard, or at least might have heard ; and my attach- 
ment for her has been so wavering from the first moment 
on " 

' ' Like your conduct. Let us not speak of it further, then ; 
let us consider, rather, the situation into which you have 
brought yourself and consider the consequences. The first 
is that you have forfeited your diplomatic career — with a 
burgher woman as your wife, you cannot appear at St. 
Petersburg or any other court ; the second is that you must 
have yourself transferred to another regiment, as you could 
not af oid the most objectionable conflicts and collisions in 
your own regiment, with a Miss Schmidt as your wife; 
third, that if the lady doesn't bring you property, or, at 
least, a very considerable svaai, the arrangement of your 
external life in the future must be essentially different 
from what it has been heretofore, and, I fear, one that 
may be little in accord with your taste ; the fourth conse- 
quence is that you by this union — even though it should 
be as honorable in a burgher moral sense as I wish and 
hope — ^by the simple letter of the will lose your claim to 



STORM FLOOD 109 

your inheritance — I mention this here once more only for 
the sake of completeness." 

Ottomar knew that his father had not said everything, 
that he had generously kept silent about the twenty-five 
thousand thalers of debts which he had paid for him in the 
course of the last few years — that is, his entire private 
fortune except a very small residue — and that he could 
not pay back this money to his father in the near future as 
he had intended to do, perhaps would never be able to pay 
it back. His father was now dependent upon his salary, 
ultimately upon his pension ; and he had repeatedly spoken 
recently of wishing to retire from the service ! 

His glance, which had been directed in his confusion to- 
ward the floor, now passed shyly over to his father, who 
was pacing slowly to and fro through the room. Was it the 
light? Was it that he saw him differently today? His 
father appeared to him to be ten years older — for the first 
time seemed to him an old man. With the feeling of love 
and reverence, which he had always cherished for him, was 
mingled one almost of pity; he wanted to fall at his feet, 
embrace his knees and exclaim, "Forgive me for the mis- 
takes I have made ! ' ' But he felt riveted to the spot ; his 
limbs would not move ; his tongue clove to the roof of his 
mouth; he could say nothing but — "You still have Else." 

The General had stopped in front of the life-size por- 
traits of his father and mother, which hung on the wall — a 
superior officer in the uniform of the Wars of the Libera- 
tion, and a lady, still young, in the dress of the time, whom 
Else strikingly resembled about the forehead and eyes. 

"Who knows?" he said. 

He passed his hand over his forehead. 

"It is late in the night, two o'clock, and the morrow will 
have its troubles, too. Will you be good enough .to put out 
the gas lights above you? Have you a light out there?" 

"Yes, Papa." 

' ' Very well ! Good-night ! ' ' 



110 THE GEEMAN CLASSICS 

He had extinguished one of the lamps in front of the 
mirror, and taken the other. 

"Can you find the door?" 

Ottomar wished to exclaim, "Give me thy hand!" but he 
did not venture to do so, and went toward the door saying, 
"Good-night!" — which had a sound of resentment, because 
he had almost broken into tears. His father stood at the 
door of his bedroom. "One thing more! I forgot to say 
that I reserve the right to take the next step myself. As 
you have so long hesitated to take the initiative, you will 
have to grant me this favor. I shall keep you informed, of 
course. I beg you to take no further step without my 
knowledge. We must act in conjunction, now that we un- 
derstand each other." 

He had said the last words with a melancholy smile that 
cut Ottomar to the heart. He could bear it no longer, and 
rushed out of the room. 

The General, too, already had his hand on the latch ; but 
as Ottomar had now vanished he drew it back, took the 
lamp to the writing-desk, a drawer of which he unlocked, 
and drew out, where, among other ornaments of little value 
belonging to his deceased wife and mother, he kept also the 
iron rings of his father and mother from the Wars of the 
Liberation. 

He took the rings. 

"Another time has come," he muttered, "not a better 
one ! Whither, alas ! have they vanished? And your piety, 
your fidelity to duty, your modest simplicity, your holy 
resignation? I have honestly endeavored to emulate you, 
to be a worthy son of a race which knew no other glory 
than the bravery of its men and the virtue of its women. 
What have I done that it should be visited on me?" 

He kissed the rings and laid them back into the box, and 
from the several miniatures on ivory took that of a beauti- 
ful brown-haired, brown-eyed boy of perhaps six years. 

He looked at it for a long time, motionless. 

"The family of Werben will die out with him, and — ^he 



STORM FLOOD 111 

was my favorite. Perhaps I am to be punished because I 
was unspeakably proud of him prematurely. ' ' 

[Old GroUmann, the servant, finds a similar letter di- 
rected to Uncle Ernst, and delivers it. Uncle Ernst reads it, 
drinks a bottle of wine, and falls asleep, after having rung 
for his afternoon coffee. He is found in this condition by 
GroUmann. Eeinhold has been casting longing glances 
toward the Werben house over the wall. The General calls 
to speak with Uncle Ernst about the letter. 

The General gives Uncle Ernst a brief story of his life 
and his social point of view, so far as they touch the family 
of von Werben, disclosing his aristocratic attitude. Uncle 
Ernst replies that he has no family history to relate, but 
gives a brief sketch of his own life, recalling vividly the 
incident in which he spared the General before the barri- 
cade, and was taken captive by him in return, and shut up 
in Spandau. It is a struggle between the aristocrat and 
the democrat of '48; a sullen silence prevails between the 
two men. The General finally asks, in the name of Ottomar, 
for the hand of Ferdinande, Uncle Ernst starts back in 
amazement.] 

The night had had no terrors and the morning no gloom 
for Ferdinande. In her soul it was bright daylight for the 
first time in many months — ^yes, as she thought, for the 
first time since she knew what a passionate, proud, imperi- 
ous heart throbbed in her bosom. They had told her so, so 
often — ^in earlier years her mother, later her aunt, her girl 
friends, all — that it would some time be her undoing, and 
that pride goes before a fall ; and she had always answered 
with resientment: "Then I will be undone, I will fall, if 
happiness is to be had only as the niggardly reward of 
humility, which always writhes in the dust before Fate, 
and sings hymns of thanks because the wheels of grim 
Envy only passed over it but did not crush it ! I am not a 
Justus, I am not a Cilli!" 



112 THE GEEMAN CLASSICS 

And she had been unhappy even in the hours when en- 
thusiastic artists, Justus' friends, had worshipped, in ex- 
travagant words, the splendid blooming beauty of the young 
girl ; when these men praised and aided her talents, and told 
her that she was on the right path to becoming an artist at 
last — that shfe was an artist, a true artist. She did not be- 
lieve them ; and, if she were a real artist — there were much 
greater ones ! Even Justus ' hand could reach so much 
higher and farther than hers-; he plucked fruits with a smile 
and apparently without effort for which she had to strive 
with unprecedented efforts and which would ever remain 
unattainable to her, as she had secretly confessed to herself. 

She had expressed her misgivings to that great French 
painter upon whom her beauty had made such an over- 
whelming impression. He had evaded her with polite 
smiles and words; then he finally told her seriously: 
"Mademoiselle, there is only one supreme happiness for 
woman — that is love; and she has only one gift of genius 
in which no man can equal her — that again is love. ' ' — The 
word had crushed her; her art life was thus a childish 
dream, and love ! — Yes, she knew that she could love, and 
boundlessly ! But her eye was yet to see the man who could 
kindle this love to the heavenly flame, and woe to her if she 
found him ! He would not understand her love, not compre- 
hend, and most certainly not be able to return it; would 
shrink back, perhaps, from its glow, and she would be more 
unhappy than before. 

And had not this dismal foreboding already been most 
sadly fulfilled? Had she not felt herself unspeakably un- 
happy in her love for him who had met her as if the Immor- 
tals had sent him, as if he were himself an Immortal? Had 
she not declared countless times in writhing despair, with 
tears in her eyes and bitter scorn, that he did not compre- 
hend her love, did not understand it — ^would never compre- 
hend or understand it? Had she not seen clearly that he 
shrank back, shuddered — not before the perils which threat- 
ened along the dark way of love — he was as bold as any 




Permission Ch. Sedelmeyer, Paris 

TWO FAMILIES 



Michael von Munkacsy 



STORM FLOOD 113 

other and more agile — ^but before love itself, before all- 
powerful but insatiate love, love demanding everything t 

So she had felt even yesterday — even the moment after 
the blissful one, when she felt and returned his first kiss ! 
And today! Today she smiled, with tears of joy, at her 
dejection. Today, in her imagination, she begged her 
lover's pardon for all the harshness and bitterness which, 
in thought and expression, she had entertained toward him, 
but now, with a thousand glowing kisses pressed upon his 
fair forehead, his loving eyes, his sweet mouth, would never 
again think, never again express! 

She had wished to work, to put the last touches on her 
"Woman with the Sickle." Her hand had been as awk- 
ward and helpless as in the period of her first apprentice- 
ship, and it had occurred to her, not without a shudder, 
that she had sworn not to finish the work. It was a for- 
tunate oath, though she knew it not. What should she do 
with this hopeless figure of jealous vengeance? How fool- 
ish this whole elaborate apparatus for her work appeared — 
this room with high ceiling, these easels, these mallets, 
these rasps, these modeling tools, these coats-of-arms, 
hands, feet, these heads, these busts, after the originals of 
the Masters, her own sketches, outlines, finished works — 
childish gropings with bandaged eyes after a happiness 
not to be found here — to be found only in love, the one true 
original talent of woman — ^her talent which she felt was 
her only one, that outshone everything which men had 
hitherto felt and called love ! 

She could not endure the room this morning; now her 
studio had become too small for her. She went out into the 
garden, and passed along the walks between the foliage, 
under the trees, from whose rustling boughs drops of rain 
from the night before fell down upon her. How often the 
bright sunshine and the blue sky had offended her, seem- 
ing to mock her pain ! She looked up triumphantly to the 
gray canopy of clouds, which moved slowly and darkly over 
her head; why did she need the sunshine and the light — 

Vol.. XI — 8 



114 THE GEEMAN CLASSICS 

she, in whose heart all was pure light and brightness ! The 
drizzling mist which now began to fall would only cool a 
bit the inner fire that threatened to consume her ! Moving 
clouds and drizzling mist, rustling trees and bushes, the 
damp dark earth itself — it was all strangely beautiful in 
the reflection of her love ! 

She went in again and seated herself at the place where 
he had kissed her, and dreamed on, while in the next room 
they hammered and knocked and alternately chatted and 
whistled. — She dreamed that her dream had the power to 
bring him back, who now slowly and gently opened the 
door and— r-it was only a dream — came up to her with a 
happy smile on his sweet lips, and a bright gleam in his 
dark eyes, till suddenly the smile vanished from his lips 
and only his eyes still gleamed — no longer with that fervid 
glow, but with the dismal melancholy penetration of her 
father's eyes. And now it was not only her father's eyes; 
it became more and more — her father, great God ! 

She had started out of her dream, but sank back into her 
seat and grew rigid again. She had seen, with half -opened 
eyes, from the look in his eyes and the letter which he held 
in his hand, why he had come. So in half -waking, confused, 
passionate words, she told him. He bowed his head but 
did not contradict her; he only replied, "My poor child!" 
' ' I am no longer your poor child, if you treat me so. ' ' 
"I fear you never have been my child at heart." 
"And if I have never been, who is to blame for it but 
you? Did you ever show me the love which a chUd is 
justified in demanding of a father? Have you ever done 
anything to make the life you gave me worth while? Did 
my industry ever wrest from you a word of praise? Did 
what I accomplished ever draw from you a word of recog- 
nition? Did you not rather do everything to humiliate me 
in my own eyes, to make me smaller than I really was, to 
make me dislike my art, to make me feel that in your eyes 
I was not and never could be an artist? Am I to blame 
that you never considered all this anything better than a 



STORM FLOOD 115 

big play house, which you bought for me to dally and play 
away my useless time in? And now — now you come to 
wrest from me my love, simply because your pride demands 
it, simply because it offends you that such a useless, lowly 
creature can ever have a will of its own, can wish some- 
thing different from what you wish? But you are mis- 
taken, Father! I am, in spite of all that, your daughter. 
You can cast me off, you can drive me into misery as you 
can crush me with a hammer, because you are the stronger; 
my love you cannot tear away from me!" 

"lean, and I will!" 

"Try it!" 

"The attempt and success are one. Do you wish to be- 
come the mistress of Lieutenant von Werben?" 

"What has that question to do with my love?" 

"Then I will put it in another form: Have you the 
courage to wish to be like those wretched foolish creatures 
who give themselves up to a man, out of wedlock or in 
wedlock — ^for wedlock does not change matters — for any 
other prize than the love which they take in exchange for 
their love ? Von Werben has nothing to give in exchange ; 
von Werben does not love you." 

Ferdinande laughed with scorn. — "And he came to you, 
knowing that you hated him and his whole family with a 
blind hatred, in order to tell you this?" 

"He could not come; his father had to do the difl&cult 
errand for him, for which he had not the courage, for which 
his father had to enforce the permission of his son. ' ' 

"That is " 

"It is not a lie! By my oath! And still more: He did 
not even go of his own will to his father; he would not have 
done it today, he would perchance never have done it, if 
his father had been content with asking him whether it was 
true, what the sparrows chatter from the roof and the 
blackmailers wrote to the unsuspecting father anony- 
mously, that Lieutenant von Werben has a sweetheart 
beyond the garden-wall or — how do I know ! ' ' 



116 THE GERMAN CLASSICS 

"Show me the letters!" 

"Here is one of them; the General will be glad to let you 
have the other, no doubt; I do not think the son will lay 
claim to it." 

Ferdinande read the letter. 

She had considered it certain that Antonio alone could 
have been the betrayer; but this letter was not by Antonio 
— could not be by him. Then other eyes than the pas- 
sionate jealous eyes of the Italian had looked into the 
secret. Her cheeks, still pale, flared with outraged mod- 
esty. — "Who wrote the letter?" 

"EoUer; he has not even disguised his hand to the 
General." 

She gave the letter back to her father quickly, and 
pressed her forehead as if she wished to remove the 
traces of emotion. "Oh, the disgrace, the disgrace!" she 
muttered; "oh, the disgust! the disgust!" 

The dismissed inspector had taken up his residence in 
her family till Ferdinande had noticed that he was auda- 
ciously beginning to pay attention to her; she had made 
use of a pretense of a disagreement, which he had had with 
her father, first to strain the social relations, then to drop 
them. And the bold repulsive eyes of the man — "Oh, the 
disgrace! oh, the disgrace! oh, the disgust!" she mut- 
tered continually. 

She paced with long strides up and down, then went hur- 
riedly to the writing-desk which stood at one end of the 
large room, wrote hastily a few lines, and then took the 
sheet to her father, who had remained standing motionless 
in the same spot. "Read!" 

And he read: 

My father wishes to make a sacrifice of his convictions 
for me, and consents to my union with Lieutenant von 
Werben. But, for reasons which my pride forbids me to 
record, I renounce this union once for all, as a moral impos- 
sibility, and release Lieutenant von Werben from all re- 



STOEM FLOOD 117 

sponsibility which he may consider he has toward me. This 
decision, which I have reached with full freedom, is irrevoc- 
able ; I shall consider any attempt on the part of Lieutenant 
von Werben to change it as an insult. 

Signed, Ferdinande Schmidt. 

"Is that correct?" 

He nodded. "Shall I send him this?" 

"In my name." 

She turned away from him and, seizing a modeling stick, 
went to her work. Her father folded the sheet and went 
toward the door. Then he stopped. She did not look up, 
apparently entirely absorbed in her work. His eyes rested 
upon her with deep pain — "And yet!" he murmured — 
"Yet!" 

He had closed the door behind him and was walking 
slowly across the court through whose broad empty space 
the rain-storm howled. 

« 

"Empty and desolate k" he murmured. — "All is empty 
and desolate ! That is the end of the story for me and for 
her!" 

"Uncle!" 
. He started from his suUen brooding; Eeinhold was 
hastily coming from the house toward him, bare-headed, 
excited. 

"Uncle, for Heaven's sake! — The General has just left 
me — I know all. — ^What did you decide?" 

"What we had to." 

"It will be the death of Ferdinande!" 

"Better that than a dishonorable life!" 

He strode past Eeinhold into the house. Eeinhold did 
not dare to follow him; he knew it would be useless. 

[Giraldi and Valerie have just returned from Eome and 
put up at the Hotel Eoyal in Berlin. Valerie writes her 
brother, the General, a note, which Else answers. Valerie 
thinks the friendly answer a trap. Giraldi has another 
interview with Privy Councilor Schieler, "the wonder- 



118 THE GERMAN CLASSICS 

worker," about the Warnow estates and about enlisting 
the interests of Count Golm. The Count snaps eagerly at 
the bait held out by the company — namely, the sale of the 
Warnow estates through him to the company. Giraldi 
plans to have Golm get Else's part of the estate by marry- 
ing, her. Giraldi discovers that Antonio is the original of 
the "Shepherd Boy" in the exhibition, and identifies him 
as the son of himself and Valerie. Justus had discovered 
Antonio in Italy and brought him home with him to Berlin. 
Antonio remains Avith Justus to be near Ferdinande. Jeal- 
ousy leads Antonio to the discovery of the relation between 
Ferdinande and Ottomar. Ottomar's betrothal to Car la 
and Else's relations with Reinhold are touched upon. 
Giraldi goes out to receive His Excellency, tossing a few 
sweet phrases to Valerie, enough to show her that she is 
still in his grip, and that she will never be able to break 
his spell over her. Else calls and finds her in this frame 
of mind. 

Aunt Sidonie calls to see Valerie and chatters long about 
the family and the betrothal of Ottomar and Carla. Else 
has thus been able to reestablish friendly relations between 
Valerie and her father's family.] 

Giraldi had not intended to stay away so long. It was 
to have been only a formal call, a return of the one he 
had made on His Excellency yesterday morning — ^but that 
loquacious gentleman still had much to say about the things 
they thought they had settled yesterday — ^much to add — 
even when he was standing at the door with one hand on 
the knob, and the other, which held his hat, passing before 
his half-blinded eyes, covered by gray spectacles, in an 
effort to shield them from the light that came in too 
brightly from the window opposite. 

"It seems foolish to try to warn the wisest of men," 
said he with a cynical smile which, on his strange face, 
turned into a tragic grimace. 



STOEM FLOOD 119 

"Especially when the warning comes from the most 
courageous of men," answered Giraldi. 

"And yet," continued His Excellency, "even he is wise — 
you underestimate his wisdom; even he is courageous — 
almost to foolhardiness. He gives proof of it every day. 
People like him, I think, cannot be appreciated par distance 
at all ; at least half of the charm which they have for their 
associates is in their personality. You have to be close 
to them, personally — come into contact with them in the 
same room — see them going to a Court soiree, to under- 
stand why the other beasts grovel in the dust before such 
lions, and, even when they wish to oppose, can do no more 
than swish their tails. Believe me, honored friend, sepa- 
ration in space is just as unfavorable to the appreciation 
of such truly historic greatness as is separation in time. 
You Eomans think you can explain by the logic of facts 
everything that depends solely upon overpowering person- 
ality, just as our all-wige historians construe the marvel- 
ous deeds of an Alexander or a Caesar, even to the dptting 
of an "i," all very coldly, as necessarily following the 
bare situations in the case, just as though the situations 
were a machine that turns out its product, whether master 
or menial set it going. ' ' 

Giraldi smiled. "Thanks, Your Excellency, in the name 
of His Holiness; for you probably intended that brilliant 
little sermon for him anyway. It is a good thing, too, for 
His Holiness to be shown the other side of the medal once 
in a while, so that he may not forget fear, which is the 
foundation of all wisdom, and may remain mindful of the 
necessity of our advice and support. Only, at this moment, 
when the shadows of clouds that threaten all around our 
horizon lie dark on his soul, I would rather not represent 
the case to him as more troublesome, nor the man in the 
case more dangerous, than we ourselves see them from 
our knowledge of them. That is why I diligently used 
my very last interview to raise his dejected spirits a little. 
May I give Your Excellency an instance to show how 



120 THE GEEMAN CLASSICS 

very necessary that was? Very welll His Holiness was 
speaking in almost the same words of the demoniac power 
of the arch-enemy of our most Holy Church; he calls him 
a robber, a Briareus, a- murderer, a colossus, that plants 
his feet on two hemispheres, as the one at Rhodes did on 
the two arms of the harbor. This, Your Excellency, was 
my answer to His Holiness — that I could see even now 
the stone falling from on high, the stone which would crush 
the feet of the colossus. His eyes gleamed, his lips moved; 
he repeated the words to himself; soon he will proclaim it 
urbi et orbi, as he does everything with which we stuff him. 
Our enemies will laugh, but it will reassure the weak hearts 
among us as it visibly reassured that poor old man." 

"I would it were as true as it is reassuring," said His 
Excellency. 

' * And isn 't it true 1 ' ' cried Giraldi. ' ' Doesn 't the colossus 
really stand on feet of masonry? What good is all this 
bloated boasting of the power and the majesty and the cul- 
tural mission of the German Empire? The end of the 
whole story, which he carefully avoids mentioning — or at 
most has added very obscurely — is ever the strong Prus- 
sian kingdom. What good can it do him to change rest- 
lessly from one role to another, and proclaim today the 
universal right of suffrage, to thunder against socialism 
tomorrow, day after tomorrow, in turn, to censure the 
bourgeoisie as though they were rude school-boys. He is, 
and will always be, the major domus of the HohenzoUerns, 
whether he will or not, in moments of impatience at his 
most gracious lord's wise hesitation on some point, of 
anger at the intrigues of the court camarilla, or whatever 
else may stir up his haughty soul. Believe me. Your Ex- 
cellency, this man, in spite of the liberalism which he 
wears most diligently for appearances' sake, is an aristo- 
crat from head to foot, and, in spite of his oft-vaunted 
broad-mindedness, is full of medieval, romantic cobwebs; 
he can at heart never desire anything, and will never desire 
anything, but a kingdom by divine right, and, while desir- 



STORM FLOOD 121 

ing a kingdom by divine right, he works away at one by 
the people's right. Or what else is it, when he uproots 
respect for the clergy in the people — ^not only for the Cath- 
olic clergy! — The interests of all sects have always been 
conxmon, and the sympathy which a maltreated Catholic 
clergy awakens in the Protestant will soon enough come 
to light. But without clerics there wUl be no God, and no 
king by divine right — that is to say, he cuts off the branch 
to which he clings. Now if he were not to take the thing 
nearly as seriously as he does, if he were to be — ^which is in- 
credible to me — so narrow-minded and frivolous as to re- 
gard it all only in the light of a question of etiquette, a dis- 
pute over precedence of the major domus and grandees in 
the state of his own creation, which he wishes to justify in 
the eyes of the church, then history would lead him back ad 
absurdv/m, for it teaches on every page that a priest never 
accepts this subordination ; at the most, he endures it if he 
must. "We are what we always have been, and always shall 
be. And, Your Excellency, that is his Achilles' heel — ^not 
to understand this, to believe that he can intimidate us by 
threats and frights, and make us into creatures of his 
will. When he sees that he wUl not get anywhere that 
way — and I hope he will not see it very soon — ^he will try 
to compromise with us, and compromise again and again, 
and be driven step by step into the camp of the reac- 
tionaries; he will be forced to express more and more 
openly the contradiction of his purpose — the kingdom by 
divine right and his methods which he has borrowed from 
the arsenal of the revolution; and this contradiction into 
which he is hopelessly driving, and from which the revo- 
lution must come — for no people will long endure a self- 
contradictory regime — ^is the stone which is already roll- 
ing, and will let loose the avalanche and crush the co- 
lossus. ' ' 

"Serve him right, and good luck to him!" said His Ex- 
cellency with a sarcastic smile, and then — after a little 



122 THE GERMAN CLASSICS 

pause — "I am only afraid sometimes that we too shall take 
the salto mortale with him, and " 

"And stand firmer than ever on our feet," interrupted 
Giraldi quickly. "What have we to fear from the revolu- 
tion, the people? Nothing, absolutely nothing! If people 
dance around the golden calf today, they will grovel so 
much the lower in the dust before Jehovah tomorrow. If 
today they enthrone the Goddess of Eeason, tomorrow 
they will flee, like a child that has frightened itself, back 
to the bosom of the Mother Churcl;i. And if, as you said, 
Darwinism is really to be the religion of the future for 
Germany — ^very well; then we shall be Darwinians par 
excellence and proclaim the new doctrine with holy zeal 
from the rostra of the universities; we know well enough 
that Nature wraps herself the more closely in her veil the 
more impatiently the inquisitive pupil pulls at it, and then, 
when he has looked into the hollow eyes of nothing, and lies 
crushed on the ground, we come and raise up the poor 
knave and comfort him with the admonition, 'Go thy way 
and sin no more'; and he goes his way and sins hence- 
forth no more in the foolish thirst for knowledge, for the 
burden of ignorance is lighter and her yoke is easier — 
quod erat demonstrandum." 

The corners of His Excellency's mouth were drawn apart 
as far as possible. Even Giraldi was smiling. 

"I wish I had you here always," said His Excellency. 

"To tell Your Excellency things which you have long 
worn off on the soles of your shoes with which you mount 
the rostrum." 

"I generally speak from my place." 

"And ever at the right place." 

"It's often enough nothing but sound, and no one knows 
that better than I myself. One has to consider how things 
sound." 

"And not for naught. To us across the mountain the 
little silver bell is the huge bell of the cathedral, whose 



STOEM FLOOD 123 

bronze voice calls the tardy to their duty and spurs on the 
brave to fiercer fight." 

"And that reminds me that I myself am a tardy one this 
moment, and that a fierce fight awaits me today in the 
Chamber. ' ' 

"His Excellency will not forget my little commission," 
said Giraldi. 

"How could I!" exclaimed His Excellency. "I hope, 
indeed, to have a chance before the day is over to mention 
the matter. Of course they won't do it without a little 
baksheesh — they don't do anything there for the love of 
God ; fortunately we always have such stuff on hand. The 
promise to drive the screw one turn less tight in Alsace- 
Lorraine and not to disturb rudely the childish pleasure 
of the old Catholic gentlemen in Cologne, and not to beat 
the drum quite so loudly in the coming discussion about 
the brave Bishop of Ermeland — every single one of these 
kindnesses is worth a General, especially if he has such 
antediluvian, unpractical ideas concerning the state, society 
and the family. ' ' 

"And such a thing passes without eclat V 

"Absolutely without eclat. Oh, my honored friend, you 
musf not consider us any longer the honest barbarians of 
Tacitus ; we really have learned something since that time ! 
— God help you!" 

"Will Your Excellency permit me to accompany you to 
your carriage?" 

"Under no circumstances; my body-servant is waiting 
for me in the hall ; have him come in, please. ' ' 

"Grant, Your Excellency, that now, as ever, I be your 
humble servant." 

Giraldi was about to offer his arm to the half-blinded 
man, when a new caller was announced. 

"Who is it?" asked His Excellency with some anxiety; 
"you know I must not be seen here by every one." 

"It is Privy Councilor Schieler, Your Excellency." 

"Oh, he! — By the way, don't trust that old sneak any 



124 THE GERMAN CLASSICS 

more than is necessary! He is a box that contains many 
good wares, but is to be handled with care. Above all 
things, don't trust him in the matter in question; it is quite 
unnecessary; his high protector can do nothing about it." 

"That is why I took the liberty to turn to Your Excel- 
lency." 

"One is always too late with his advice to you. Another 
thing: In this little clan war, as you have to carry it on 
here with the North German centaurs, you need what is 
known to be thrice necessary in real war. Are you suffi- 
ciently provided with that?" 

"I was ever of the opinion that war must sustain war. 
Besides, I can draw on Brussels at any time for any 
amount, if it should be necessary." 

"Perhaps it will be necessary. In any case, keep the 
party in hand. There is, in spite of your sanguine hopes 
for the future, which I, by the way, share fully, a period of 
lean years ahead of us first. We shall have to lead the 
life of a church mouse, and church-mouse precaution be- 
hooves us now more than ever. You will keep me au 
courant ? ' ' 

"In my own interest. Your Excellency." 

The Privy Councilor had entered; His Excellency ex- 
tended him his hand. "You come as I am leaving — ^that's 
too bad. You know that there is no one with whom I would 
rather chat than with you. Which way does the wind blow 
today in Wilhelmstrassef Did they sleep well? Did they 
get out of bed with the right foot or the lefi first? Nerves 
faint or firm? Is country air in demand or not? Good 
Heavens! Don't let me die of unsatisfied curiosity!" His 
Excellency did not wait for the smiling Privy Councilor 
to answer, but shook hands again with both gentlemen, and, 
leaning on the arm of his body-servant, who meanwhile 
had come in, left the room. 

"Isn't it wonderful," said the Privy Councilor, — "this 
prodigious versatility, this marvelous ready wit, this quick- 
ness in attack, this security in retreat. A Moltke of guar- 



STORM FLOOD 125 

ilia warfare. What an enviable treasure your party has in 
this man ! ' ' 

' ' Our party, my dear sir ? Pardon me, I really must first 
stop and think each time that you don't belong to us. 
Won't you sit down?" 

"Thank you, no. I haven't a moment to spare, and I 
can only tell you the most essential part in flying haste. 
First, in the Department of Commerce they are beside 
themselves over a just reported vote of the great General 
Staff on the Harbor matter which, as a colleague has in- 
formed me — I myself have not been able to get a look at it 
— is as much as a veto. The finished report is by a certain 
Captain von Schonau — ^but the mind behind it — it is an 
unheard of thing — is there, right in the War Department, 
and is, of course, none other than our friend the General. 
That sets us back again I don't know how far or for how 
long. I am beside myself, and the more so because I am 
absolutely at a loss in the face of this obstruction. Good 
Heavens! A man may have influence and could use this 
influence if he had to, even against an old friend, but he 
surely would not do that sort of thing except in the last 
extremity. Now what is your advice?" 

"The purity of our cause is not to be clouded by inter- 
mingling with such repugnant personalities," replied 
Giraldi. — ' ' If you think that you must spare an old friend, 
then there is, as you know, an old feud between the General 
and myself, and everything which I personally might do 
against him, or cause to be done, would properly seem to 
every one to be an act of common revenge — ^which may God 
Almighty forbid! If he mil, he can have some incident 
occur which will disarm our enemy, and which doesn't need 
to be an accident because people call it so." 

"You mean if he should die?" questioned the Privy 
Councilor with a shifty look. 

"I don't mean anything definite at all, and certainly not 
his death. As far as I am concerned he may live long." 

' * That is a very noble sentiment, a very Christian senti- 



126 THE GERMAN CLASSICS 

ment, ' ' replied the Privy Councilor, rubbing Ms long nose. 
— "And it is my heart's wish, of course; and yet his op- 
position is and always will be a stumbling block. I wish 
that were our only obstacle ! But Count Golm tells me now 
— I have just come from him — he will give himself the 
honor immediately after me — I have just hurried on ahead 
of him because I have another little bit of information 
about him to give you, which I'll tell you in a moment — 
Count Golm tells me that his efforts with the President in 
Sundin — he had come over in his semi-official capacity as 
president of the board of directors in spe — that they had 
been fruitless, quite fruitless ; that he had been convinced, 
and unalterably, much as he would like to do it for the 
Count, for a thousand reasons — regard for a fellow coun- 
tryman, and personal friendship, and so on. Golm, who, 
between you and me, is crafty enough and by no means a 
fool, finally hinted at the great sacrifices which we had de- 
cided to make — ^but all in vain. In fact, Golm says that he 
rather made matters worse than better by that. ' ' 

"As ever when one does things by halves," said Giraldi. 

"By halves, my dear sir ! How do you mean that? What 
did they offer him?" 

"Fifty thousand thalers as compensation, and the first 
position as director of the new road, with six thousand 
a year fixed salary, besides customary office rent, traveling 
expenses, and so forth. ' ' 

"Well then, that, I suppose, is just half of what the man 
demanded himself ! ' ' 

"He didn't demand anything." 

"One doesn't demand such things; one has them offered 
him. Authorize the Count to propose twice as much, and 
I'll wager the deal is closed." 

"We can't go as far as that," replied the Privy Coun- 
cilor, scratching his close-cropped hair. — "We haven't the 
means to permit that; and the rest of us, top — and then, for 
the present, Count Golm is satisfied with fifty thousand; 
we could not offer the President twice as much without 



STOEM FLOOD 127 

insulting Golm. He is already not so very kindly disposed 
toward us, and that is the point that I should like to settle 
with you before he gets here. Is it really impossible for 
you to — I mean for us : the Board of Trustees of Warnow 
— to sell directly to us : I mean the corporation? » 

"Over the Count's head?" cried Giraldi. — "Goodness, 
Privy Councilor, I think that you are bound by the most 
definite promises, so far as the Count is concerned, in this 
respect!" 

"Of course, of course, unfortunately. But then even 
Liibbener — our financier, and at the same time " 

"The Count's banker — I know " 

' ' You know everything ! — Even Liibbener thinks that one 
could get a little assistance from a man who, like the Count, 
falls from one dilemma into another, and is always inclined 
or compelled to sell his birthright for a mess of pottage. 
Only we do not wish or intend to act contrary to your plans, 
and if you insist upon it " 

"I insist upon nothing, Sir," replied Giraldi; "I simply 
follow the wishes of my mistress, which, on this point, are 
identical with those of von Wallbach. ' ' 

"Good Lord," exclaimed the Privy Councilor impa- 
tiently, "I quite imderstand that, to keep up appearances, 
one would rather sell to an equal in rank than to a com- 
mittee, even though the man concerned be a member of 
this very committee ; but you ought not to forget, too, that 
we should have to pay direct to you just as much, or about 
as much, as we shall hereafter have to pay the Count. ' ' 

"The Count will not get off so cheaply as you say, 
either " 

"He will sell to us so much the higher," said the Privy 
Councilor. "Matters will only be worse for us thereby." 

"And yet I must, to my great regret, hereby refuse my 
support, ' ' replied Giraldi decidedly. 

The Privy Councilor made a very wry face. "It wUl be 
best," he said grumblingly, "if he can't find the money — 
not even the hundred thousand, to say nothing of the mil- 



128 THE GERMAN CLASSICS 

lion, or whatever sum we may agree upon in family council 
as the price of the estates. For he has to yield to us; I 
do not know any one else in the world who would advance 
him so much, at once or in instalments. I can say in ad- 
vantje, of course, without being Merlin the Wise, that he 
will not get the money from us cheaply, and so it will be 
evened up again at the end. — But now, my honored patron, 
I must give place to the Count, and take leave of you. My 
regards to Madame, whom I have not had the pleasure, un- 
fortunately, of meeting, but for whom I have felt the pro- 
f oundest respect and have gallantly shattered many a lance, 
after the manner of a knight. Not in vain, for this family 
visit — I met Miss Sidonie down in the hall; Miss Else had 
already gone on ahead — is a concession which I, without 
immodesty, may consider the fruits of my persuasive art. 
Apropos, my dear old friend Sidonie — she wanted to know 
yesterday what had really been the deciding element in the 
matter of the engagement, which had broken Ottomar's 
stubborn resistance." 

"Well?" asked Giraldi with unfeigned curiosity. 

"I do not know," said the Privy Councilor, laying his 
finger on his long nose — "that is to say, my dear friend 
knows nothing, or she would have told me. From what the 
servant says — that was all she could tell me — an interview 
took place the night before between father and son. I 
have every reason to think the subject was by no means a 
romantic one — on the contrary, one as prosaic as it is inex- 
haustible, that of Ottomar's debts. — Farewell, my dear, 
honored patron; you will keep me informed, will you not?" 

"Be assured of that!" 

The Privy Councilor had gone; Giraldi kept his dark 
eyes fixed on the door, a smile of profoundest contempt 
played about his lips. "Buff one!" he muttered. 

[Wallbachs and Ottomar call on Valerie. Giraldi asks 
Frangois about the interview between Valerie, Sidonie and 
Else. Count Golm is announced, and speaks with Giraldi in 



STORM FLOOD 129 

the outer room about the advance of the loan, and the 
impossible conditions which Liibbener, the banker, has 
made him, and mentions his visit to Philip. Giraldi con- 
fuses Philip with Eeinhold, to the disgust of Golm, who 
informs Giraldi that Philip is a promoter of the Sundin- 
Berlin railroad ; that he is to build the road, and is, besides, 
a graceful, companionable, immensely rich man. Giraldi 
offers Golm half a million as gidvance loan for a four per 
cent, mortgage, under promise of secrecy, telling him it is 
the hand of a friend, not of a usurer, that is extended to 
him. The Count then goes into the other room to meet 
the ladies. 

Carla is eager to make the acquaintance of Giraldi, but 
Ottomar conceives a dislike for the Count, and is alarmed 
at the power of Giraldi ; but Giraldi wins his confidence by 
flatteries and assurances of friendship. During the conver- 
sation Valerie compares the studied manner of Carla with 
the naturalness and ease of Else, and is convinced that 
Carla is not suited to Ottomar. The company departs, and 
a scene follows between Giraldi and Valerie. 

The General speaks frankly with Eeinhold about Ferdi- 
nande and wishes that her father would relent as he has, 
but Uncle Ernst is still obdurate. Justus and Eeinhold 
converse about Uncle Ernst, and Justus asks Eeinhold to 
sit as model for one of his reliefs. The conversation turns 
upon love, which Justus declares is a strange drop in the 
artist's blood; Eeinhold begs Justus not to express his 
opinions of love in Cilli's hearing. 

CiUi's father speculates in the railroad stocks on the 
sly. Cilli is to be modeled by Justus, and tells Eeinhold 
how her friends look, although she cannot see them. She 
asks Eeinhold if he loves Else, and when he confesses he 
does, Cilli tells him that she was afraid at first that he was 
in love with Ferdinande. Eeinhold tells Cilli that he thinks 
Else unattainable; Cilli replies that love is always a mir- 
acle, and that Eeinhold must be himself if he would win 
Else. Eeinhold goes away greatly encouraged, and finds in 

Vol. XI — 9 



130 THE GERMAN CLASSICS 

his room a letter from the President telling him that his ap- 
pointment as Pilot Commander has been ratified, and that 
he shall appear at the ministry at his earliest convenience. 
Mieting comes unannounced to visit Else, and makes con- 
quest of the entire circle of Else's friends; even the stern 
old General and Baroness Kniebreohe are captivated by 
her spritely, impulsive personality; but Mieting is not 
pleased with Carla as Ottonaar's prospective bride, Miet- 
ing refers to the evening at Golmberg, and tries to find out 
Else's relations to Reinhold. She finally discovers the 
compass in one of Else's gowns, and finds, in conversation 
with Else, that she and Eeinhold are in love. Justus models 
Mieting, who describes the meaning of artistic terms to 
Else in her own naive way. She tells Else that Justus 
has made a model of Eeinhold, which Else is to wear in the 
form of a medallion as big as a cart-wheel.] 

Mieting followed her hero without allowing herself to be 
deterred by anything, even Aunt Rikchen's spectacles. — 
"And that is not a matter for jest," said Mieting, as she 
related that evening the experiences of the session; "I 
would rather face the lorgnette of Baroness Kniebreohe. 
For behind that is nothing but a pair of dimmed eyes, for 
which I feel anything but fear ; but when Aunt Rikchen lets 
her spectacles slip down to the point of her nose, she only 
begins to see clearly, so that one might become anxious and 
uneasy if one had not a good conscience — and you know, 
Else, something unusual must have happened between you 
and the Schmidts, has it not? It is, to be sure, still mys- 
terious, for the good lady mixes up everything, like cabbage 
and turnips ; but she had nothing good to say of the Wer- 
bens, like my Papa about the Griebens, who continually dig 
away his line, he says ; and you have dug away something 
from the Schmidts, and that, you will find, is the reason 
why Reinhold has become distant. We shall not learn it 
from him, but Aunt Rikchen can't keep anything secret, 
and we are already the best of friends. I am a good girl. 



STORM FLOOD 131 

she says, and can't help being so ; and the dove that brought 
the olive branch to the earth did not know what it had in 
its beak, and I saw that Eeinhold, who was in the studio, 
winked at her, and Mr. Anders also made a really wry face 
and looked at Eeiahold — the three know something; that 
much is clear, and I mean to find it out, depend upon it ! " 

But Mieting did not find it out, and could not, for Aunt 
Eikchen herself did not know the real situation and the 
others did not let her into the secret. Mieting 's communi- 
cations contributed by no means to Else 's pacification, even 
though Else had at least had the pleasure during the first 
few days of hearing about Eeinhold through Mieting — 
how he had come into the studio and kept them company 
for a while, and how he had looked; but even this source 
of consolation flowed less freely and appeared gradually to 
dry up entirely. One day he had been there scarcely five 
minutes ; another day he had only gone through the studio ; 
a third, Mieting had not seen him at all ; on the fourth she 
did not know whether she had seen him or not. Else sup- 
posed she knew what to think of this apparent indifference 
— that Mieting had learned something which she did not 
wish to tell her, or had convinced herself otherwise of the 
hopelessness of her love, and that the detailed account 
which she gave of her other experiences and observations, 
in the studio, were only to serve to conceal her embarrass- 
ment. 

It was, accordingly, with only divided interest that Else 
listened to these accounts — ^how Mieting rose daily in the 
favor of Aunt Eikchen, who was really a fine old lady and 
had her heart in the right place, even if her spectacles did 
always sit crooked on the point of her nose; and how the 
kind old woman had something specially touching for her, 
for she too would look like that in fifty years. But a 
pretty young blind girl, who came every day, had touched 
her still more deeply, because Mr. Anders wanted to model 
them side by side on the same relief; when she spoke, it 
was just as if a lark sang high, high up in the blue air on 



132 THE GEEMAN CLASSICS 

a Sunday morning, when all is quiet in the fields; and 
Justus said that Nature had never but once brought forth 
a contrast like her and Cilli, and if he succeeded in repro- 
ducing that, people would be permitted to speak to him. 
only with their hats in their hands. — There was another, 
next to Justus' studio, which aroused her curiosity, be- 
cause the occupant never showed herself, and she could 
form no idea of a lady who kneaded clay, or hammered 
around on marble — least of all of a marvelously beautiful, 
elegant lady, such as Justus says Miss Schmidt is. — "For 
you know, Else, a sculptor differs in appearance from a 
baker only in that he has clay instead of dough in his 
fingers, and is powdered with marble-dust instead of flour, 
so that one can hardly consider such a queer human child 
as a decent gentleman, much less as an artist, and the only 
one who always looks so clean and neat, in spite of his 
working jacket, and is more wonderfully handsome than 
any one I have ever seen in my life — that one is not 
an artist, Justus says, for he cannot do anything but point 
and carve — ^but you, poor child, possibly do not know at 
all what pointing means? Pointing, you know, is that 
which one does with a bill-stork or a stork-bill " 

And now followed a very long and confused explanation, 
from which Else understood nothing but Mieting's wish to 
talk of anything but what was engrossing her heart. — "The 
work wiU be finished," said Else to herself, "and the entire 
success of the beautiful plan will consist in my not being 
able to consider Eeinhold's reserve as accidental." 

But the work seemed not likely to be finished. — Such a 
face he had never seen, said Justus ; one might just as well 
model clouds in springtime, which changed their form every 
moment. — And, again, when the relief was done — "you 
can't believe how horrible I look, Else, like a Chinese girl !" 
— Justus had set himself to finish his "Eeady to Help," 
and — "then I cannot leave the poor fellow in the lurch, 
who tortures himself so; for you know. Else, it is not 
simply a qiiestion of the head, but of the whole figure — 



STOEM FLOOD 133 

the posture, gestures — of new motives, you know — but I 
think you, poor child, do not know at all what a motive is. 
Motive is when one does not know what to do, and suddenly 
sees something, in which, in reality, there is nothing to see 
— ^let us say, a cat or a washtub " 

It was the longest, and also the last, explanation which 
Mieting drew from the abundance of her newly acquired 
wisdom for her friend. During the next few days Else had 
more to do about the house than usual, and another matter 
urgently claimed her attention. After two months of ne- 
gotiation the final conference was held at her father's 
house to consider the future management of the Warnow 
estates, in which, with the three votes of von Wallbach, 
Privy Councilor Schieler, and Giraldi, against the vote of 
the General, who had his dissenting view with his reasons 
recorded in the minutes, it was decided that the whole com- 
plex should be sold as soon as possible, and Count Gobn 
be accepted as purchaser, in case the conditions of the sale 
arranged by the family council were agreed upon. 

He came from the council pale and exhausted as Else had 
never before seen him. "They carried it through, Else," 
he said. ' ' The Warnow estates, which have been in the pos- 
session of the family for two hundred years, will be sacri- 
ficed and bartered. — Your Aunt Valerie may answer for it 
if she can. For she, and she alone, is to blame for letting 
an old respected family ignominiously perish. If she had 
been a good and true wife to my friend — ^what is the use 
of lamenting about things that are passed! It is foolish 
even in my eyes, not to say in the eyes of those to whom 
the present is everything. And I must admit they acted 
quite in the spirit of our time — wisely, reasonably, in the 
interest of all of you. You will all be at least twice as 
rich as you are, if the sale turns out as favorably as the 
Privy Councilor prophesies. It is very unlike a father, 
Else, but I hope he may triumph too soon. The Count, 
whom he mentions as purchaser, can pnly pay the silly 
price — for the actual total value of the estates is scarcely 



134 THE GEEMAN CLASSICS 

half a million, much less a whole million — in case he is sure 
they will take the enormous burden from his shoulders 
immediately — that is, if the scandalous project, the peril- 
ous folly of which for the State I so clearly demonstrated 
with the aid of the General Staff and. Captain Schmidt, 
should go through. If it did go through, if the concession 
were made, still it would be a violation of the little bit of 
authority to which I lay claim, and I should regard it as if 
I had been passed over in the recent advancements. I 
should ask for my discharge at once. The decision is 
pending. For Golm it is a vital question; he will either 
be ruined or a Crcesus; and I shall be an Excellency or a 
poor pensioner — quite in the spirit of the times, 'which 
plays va banque everywhere. Well, as God wills it! I can 
only gain, not lose, for the highest and best; my clear con- 
science, the consciousness of having stood by the old flag, 
of having acted as a Werben must act, nothing and no one 
can take from me." 

So Else's father spoke to her, in a state of agitation 
which appeared in every word, in the vibrant tone of his 
deep voice, although he sought to compose himself. It was 
the first time he had thus taken her into his personal con- 
fidence, and made her the witness of a strife which he for- 
nierly would have fought out himself in his proud silent 
soul. Was it chance, or was it intended? Had the vessel, 
already too full, only run over? Or did her father have 
an intimation — did he know her secret? Did he wish to 
say to her: "Such a decision will perhaps confront you; I 
wish, I hope, that you, too, will remain true to the flag 
which is sacred to me — that you will be a Werben?" 

That was in the forenoon ; Mieting had accepted an invi- 
tation for dinner, by way of exception, from a friend of her 
mother, after she had had her sitting. She would not 
return before evening. For the first time Else did not miss 
her friend ; she was glad to be alone, silent, busy with her 
own thoughts. They were not cheerful — these thoughts; 
but she felt it her duty to work them out to the last par- 



STOEM FLOOD 135 

ticular, to became clear in her own mind, if it were possible. 
She thought that it would be possible, and felt, in conse- 
quence, a silent satisfaction, which, to be sure, as she said 
to herself, would be the sole compensation for all that she 
had secretly given up. 

And in this spirit of resignation she received with calm 
composure the news which Mieting brought to her when 
she came home, and which would have filled her with sad- 
ness under other circumstances — Mieting had to go away; 
she had found a letter from her Mama at the house of the 
lady from whom she came, in which her Mama so bitterly 
complained of her long absence that she could not do 
otherwise than leave at once — that is, early in the morning. 
How she felt about it she would not and could not say. 

It was a strange state of mind in any case; while she 
seemed one moment about to burst into tears, the next she 
broke into laughter which she tried in vain to suppress, 
until the laughter turne^ to tears again. And so she went 
on the rest of the evening. The next morning the feeling 
had reached such a height that Else was seriously concerned 
about the strange girl, and urged her to put off the journey 
until she should be quieted to some extent. But Mieting 
remained firm ; she had decided, and Else would agree with 
her if she knew all, and she should know all — ^but by letter ; 
she couldn't tell her verbally without laughing herself to 
death, and she mustn't die just now for reasons which she 
again could not give without laughing herself to death. 

And so she went on until she got into the carriage in 
which August was to take her to the station. She had de- 
clined all other company most positively — "for reasons. 
Else, you know, which — well! You will read it all in the 
letter, you know, which — Good-by, dear, sweet, my only 
Else!" 

With that Mieting drove off. 

In the evening August, not without some formality, 
handed Else a letter which Miss Mieting had given him at 
the last moment before her departure with the express 



136 THE GERMAN CLASSICS 

direction that he should deliver it promptly at the stroke 
of nine in the evening, twelve hours later. It was a letter 
in Mieting's most confused hand, from which Else deci- 
phered the following with some difficulty : 

Six o'clock in the afternoon. 
Dear Else ! 

Don't believe a word of all that I told you when I came 
home. — Oh, that won't help you any! You first read this 
letter — I am writing it right here at Madame von Eandow's 
in order to lose no time — August is to give it to you when 
I am gone — thus, not a bit of it is true; my mother hadn't 
written at all ; I lied ; I have been lying to you and deceiv- 
ing you most monstrously for a week, for I have not been 
going there during that time on your account, and that 
would have been the most injudicious procedure, as I am 
convinced that your Reinhold has long since noticed how 
matters stand with us and has kept out of the way even be- 
fore we had an idea of it, and you may believe, Else, that 
two such men, when they are such good friends, stand by 
each other in such matters in a way that we girls couldn't 
improve upon. And for dear, blind Cilli we thought 
we needed to have no further concern, because she always 
smiled so cheerfully when we teased each other, and then, 
too, she couldn't see, and the eyes play such an important 
part in a matter of that kind, you know ! Indeed, it began 
with the eyes, for up to that time all went well. But when 
he came to them he said : "At this point I shall have to de- 
termine what the color of your eyes really is; and I was 
puzzling my brain about that all those days." I declared 
they were yellow; Aunt Eikchen thought they were green; 
he himself thought they were brown — and CUli, who was to 
decide the matter, said she was convinced that they were 
blue ; she was so cheerful, and cheerful people must have 
blue eyes. So we jested to and fro and each day he began 
again with my eyes and, because one can't speak of eyes 
very well without looking into them, I looked into his eyes 



STOEM FLOOD 137 

while he looked into mine, and I don't know whether you 
harve ever had the same experience, Else — when one has 
done that a few days, one begins to see more clearly what is 
going on back of the eyes — very curious things. I tell you 
that a shudder goes over one; one doesn't know sometimes 
whether to laugh at the one who is looking, and give him a 
snip on the nose, or to take to crying and fall on his neck. 
So I had felt a few times, and this noon again — only a 
little worse than before. The assistants were off at dinner, 
and Aunt Eikohen had gone to look after the house ; only 
he and I and Cilli were there, and Justus wanted to work 
on, if we were willing, to finish the work. But he didn't 
work industriously, as was his custom, and I noticed that, 
and didn't sit as quietly as usual, and we — that is, he and I 
— played all sorts of pranks with Lesto, who had to pretend 
that he was dead, and bark at me as if he were mad, and 
I pretended to want to hit his master, and other nonsense, 
till suddenly we heard the door which leads into the garden 
close and — Heavens ! Else ! how shall I describe it to you 
— Cilli had gone away without our noticing it; we must 
thus have been a bit boisterous, and for that reason became 
quiet now, still as mice, so that one could have heard a pin 
drop, if one had dropped, and I was so embarrassed. Else, 
so embarrassed, you know! And still more embarrassed 
when all of a sudden he kneeled close before me — I had 
seated myself, because my knees were shaking — and then 
looked me again in the eyes, and I looked at him, you 
know I had to, Else ! — and asked, but very gently, what that 
meant. That means, he said — ^but also very gently — that 
you must once for all declare yourself. I'll give you a snip 
on the nose if you don't get up, said I, but still more softly 
— I'll gfet up — but so close to my ear that I could not 
strike his nose, but ha,d to fall in all seriousness upon his 
neck, whereat Lesto, who thought the life of his master was 
at stake, began to bark dreadfully, and I, to pacify Lesto 
and to get Justus up from his knees, said yes to everything 



138 THE GERMAN CLASSICS 

he wished, that I loved him, that I'd be his wife, and what- 
ever else one says at such a dreadful moment. 

And now, just think. Else ! — ^When we had spent five min- 
utes in pacifying Lesto, and were about to leave — for I 
said I had sworn to be sensible, and to be a credit to you, 
and not to remain a second with such a dangerous man in 
such a lonesome spot, with all the horrible marble figures — 
and we went to the rear arm in arm — suddenly, Cilli came 
toward us from among the marble figures, as white as 
marble herself, but with a heavenly smile on her face, and 
said that we must not be angry, that the door had shut and 
she could not get it open, and she had heard everything — 
she heard so easily — and it sounded so loud in the studio. 
Oh, Else ! I was so ashamed that I could have sunk into 
the floor, for I'm sure we didn't stop with words, but the 
heavenly creature blushed as if she had been able to see, 
took me by the hand, and said I should not be ashamed — 
one need not be ashamed — of an honorable, true love, and 
I didn't know at all how happy I was, and how proud I 
should be, but I would gradually find it out, and should be 
thankful for my proud joy, and love Justus very much, for 
an artist needs love very much more than other people. 
Then she took Justus' hand and said, "And you, Justus, 
you will love her as much as the sunshine without which 
you cannot live!" And, as she said that, the sunbeam fell 
from the high window of the studio directly upon the sweet 
girl, and she looked transfigured — so supernaturally beau- 
tiful, with her poor blind eyes turned upward, that at last 
I couldn't keep from weeping, and had great difficulty in 
composing myself. And she said, "You mustn't stay here 
in this disturbed condition ; you must go home at once and 
tell your mother about it, and no one else before her; for 
the fact that I know it is an accident, for which you are not 
to blame." And I promised her everything that she asked 
of me, and I now realize that the angel was perfectly right, 
for I am entirely out of my senses with joy, and can't talk 
anything but nonsense for very joy, and that I don't dare 



STOEM FLOOD 139 

to do, because I have sworn to be sensible, and to do credit 
to you. Tomorrow morning I leave — tomorrow evening at 
eight 'clock I shall be home, at half -past eight I shall have 
told my mama, and at nine o'clock August will give you 
this letter, for after Mama you come next, of course. That 
I told Cilli outright, and she agreed to it, and her last word 
was : Ask God that your friend may be as happy as you 
are now. That I will do. Else, depend upon it, and depend 
in every other respect, too, upon your friend, who loves you 
above all else. Your sensible Miete. 

P. S. In " all, " " he " is of course excepted ! I 'm dread- 
fully sorry, but it can't be helped, you know I 

" The dear, foolish child 1" exclaimed Else with a deep 
sigh, when she had finished the letter — "I grant it with all 
my heart." And as she thus sat and thought about it — 
how wonderfully it had all come about, and how happy the 
two would be in their ,love — her eyes became more set, her 
breathing more difiScult, and then she pressed her hands to 
her eyes, bowed her head upon Mieting's letter, and wept 
bitterly. 

[It is the day of the sale of the Warnow estates to Count 
Golm, Giraldi is busy with letters, business papers, polit- 
ical matters from Paris and London, and church affairs 
from Cologne and Brussels. The papers are in English, 
French, Italian and German, and he makes his comments 
on each document in the language in which it is written. 
Among the letters is one from a priest in Tivoli, referring 
to his child. Bertalde is announced, and says she is tired 
of having Ottomar in her arms yearning for Ferdinande. 
She tells Ferdinande of Ottomar 's love. Giraldi assures 
her of his good will toward Ottomar, to whom he has given 
a hundred thalers. She caresses and kisses Giraldi for it. 
Antonio is announced, Bertalde is led out by Frangois, 
but in the confusion Antonio recognizes the girl as the lady 
, in black, whom he had seen in Ferdinande 's studio. An- 



140 THE GEKMAN CLASSICS 

tonio gives Giraldi a letter from Justus' desk, which Giraldi 
notes and returns, asking him to show him other such let- 
ters. Giraldi impresses Antonio with his marvelous power 
to accomplish what he wishes.] 

"You shall see, Carla, he won't come today, either," said 
Madame von Wallbach, trying to get a more comfortable 
position in her arm-chair. 

"Je le plains! Je le blame, mais — — " 

Carla, who sat on the right, shrugged her shoulders, and 
made a pianissimo gesture with her right hand. 

' ' Miss von Strummin has left, too, without making us a 
farewell call." 

"The silly little thing!" said Carla, making the return 
motion with her hand. 

"And Else has not even been here to excuse this rude- 
ness." 

"So much the worse for her," said Carla. 

"I wash my hands in innocence," said Madame von Wall- 
bach, rising slowly and going into the reception room, 
which one of the dinner guests had entered. 

Carla was also just about to rise, but remained seated 
when she heard that it was a lady, and one, too, of little 
importance. She dropped her hands into her lap and 
looked down thoughtfully. 

"He's not half so clever; sometimes he doesn't under- 
stand at all what I say. — I even believe he's un peu bete; 
but he — worships me. Why should I renounce all my ad- 
mirers for the sake of a betrothed who does not trouble 
himself about me ? Of late he has scared them all away. ' ' 

The door into the vestibule opened behind her; only more 
intimate friends entered this room, her room, when there 
were small parties; the one who entered must be either 
Ottomar or the Count. She had not heard anything, but, 
as the steps approached over the rug, dhe passed her fingers 
dreamily over the piano: "The Grail is already sending 
for the tardy one " 



STORM FLOOD 141 

"My dear Miss Carla!" 

"0 dear Count!" said Carla, glancing up and extending 
her left hand half over her shoulder to the Count, while 
her right played "My Dear Swan," "Don't you want to 
say good-day to Luise? She is with Madame von Arnfeld 
in the reception room." 

The Count had drawn the hand extended to him so care- 
lessly to his lips. — "And then?" asked he, 

" You may come back here — I have something to tell you. ' ' 

The Count came back in half a minute. 

"Bring up your chair — not so near — so — and don't be 
disturbed by my drumming. — Do you know, dear Count, 
that you are a dangerous man?" 

"But, my dear lady!" exclaimed the Count, twirling the 
ends of his mustache. 

"You must be, if Luise thinks so. She has just given me 
a most charming curtain lecture." 

"Great Heavens! What shall I do? Everybody wor- 
ships you! Why shouldn't I be allowed to do what every- 
body does?" 

"Because you are not everybody, because" — Carla 
raised her eyes; the Count was always as if intoxicated 
when he was permitted, unhindered by the lorgnette, to 
look into those blue eyes, beneath whose languid drooping 
lids a mysterious world of tenderness and coyness seemed 
to be hidden. 

"Because I came too late?" he whispered passionately. 

"One must not come too late, dear Count; that is the 
worst mistake in war, politics, everywhere. You must bear 
the consequences of this mistake — voild tout!" 

She played: "Only one. year at thy side could I have 
wished to be, as witness of thy joy," — The Count gazed be- 
fore him in silence, — "He is taking that seriously," thought 
Carla; "I must give him a little encouragement again," 

"Why shouldn't we be friends?" she asked, extending 
her left hand while the right intoned: "Come dwell with 



142 THE GEEMAN CLASSICS 

me ! Let me teach thee how sweet is the bliss of purest 
love!" 

"Gladly, gladly!" exclaimed the Count, pressing a long, 
fervent kiss upon the extended hand. "Why shouldn't we 
be friends!" 

"Isn't it true?— 'Friendship of pure souls is so sweet!' 
But the world is not pure ; it likes to besmirch that which 
shines; it demands, guarantees; give it the only possible 
lead in this case; get married!" 

"And you advise me to do that?" 

"I do; I shall have an incalculable advantage from it; I 
shall not lose you altogether. I cannot ask more ; I do not 
ask more." 

And Carla played with both hands: "Let thyself be 
made to believe there is a joy that hath no pang!" 

' ' Great Heavens, Carla — ^my dear lady, do you know that 
something like that, in almost the same words " 

"You have just heard from Mr. Giraldi," said Carla, as 
the Count grew embarrassingly silent. "Just express it 
frankly; it will not offend me ; he is the wisest of men, from 
whom you can conceal no secrets even if you would and — 
I don't wish to; you — should not wish to, either. He loves 
you very much; he wishes the best for you.— Believe me! 
Trust him!" 

"I believe it," said the Count — "and I should trust him 
unconditionally if the imion in question had not also a 
little bit of business flavor in it. You know I bought the 
Warnow estate today. I should hardly have been able to 
assume such a great risk, should not have assumed it at 
all, if they had not intimated that I should have at least 
half of the purchase price in the form of a dowry." 

"Pi done!" said Carla. 

"For Heaven's sake, dear lady, don't misunderstand 
me!" exclaimed the Count. "It is understood, of course, 
that this intimation could have come from no one else in the 
world but Mr. Giraldi, as attorney of the Baroness " 

"Spare me such things, dear Count!" exclaimed Carla; 



STOEM FLOOD 143 

"I don't understand anything at all about them! I only 
know that my sister-in-law is a charming creature, and 
that you are a terribly blase man, before whom every hon- 
orable girl must shudder. And now let us go into the recep- 
tion room. I hear Baroness Kniebreche ; she would never 
forgive you if you did not kiss her hand within the first 
five minutes ! ' ' 

"Give me courage for the execution," whispered the 
Count. 

"How?" 

The Count did not answ.er, but took her hand from the 
keys of the piano, pressed a few passionate kisses upon it, 
and, with a movement half feigned and half real, hastened 
into the other room. 

"But he is such a fool!" whispered Carla, looking after 
him over her shoulder with her lorgnette as he hastened 
out. 

"That he is," said a voice near her. 

' ' Mon Dieu ! Signor Giraldi ! ' ' 

"As ever, at your service!" 

"As ever, at the proper moment! You have not yet 
been in the reception room? Of course not! Come! Let 
us chat a few minutes longer. A tete-d-tete with you is a 
much envied distinction, which even Baroness Kniebreche 
appreciates. ' ' 

"And, besides, this respectable tete-d-tete is not so dan- 
gerous as the preceding, ' ' said Giraldi, taking a seat on the 
sofa by Carla at the far end of the room, under a cluster of 
lights. — "Have you spoken to him?" 

"Just now!" 

"And what did he answer?" 

"He understands everything, except " 

"Not all, then?" 

"Stop that ironical smile; he is really not so insignifi- 
cant. He is clever enough, for example, to inquire what 
special interest you can have in his union with Else. ' ' 

"Don't be angry if I smile a little bit longer," said 



144 THE GERMAN CLASSICS 

Giraldi. — "What did you sayl The Count inquired what 
interest I have in the matter — ^he, upon whose side the 
entire advantage lies. Very well, I grant that the sale 
would have been long delayed, as the General, from pure 
obstinacy, and your brother, for reasons of propriety, are 
not willing to sell directly to a committee of speculators, 
and demand a go-between ; I admit, further, that the Count 
is not only the most convenient and appropriate, but also, 
for us, the most profitable person, because as a neighbor 
he can really pay more than anybody else. But that is an 
advantage for us which we can most profitably equalize 
by other advantages which we concede to him, and with 
the details of which I do not wish to trouble you. Be- 
lieve me, Miss Carla, the Count knows all this as well 
as I do ; and he is only pretending to be ignorant, and con- 
sequently to be hesitating for reasons which I shall mention 
in order : First, it is always well that one should not see 
the hand which tosses fortune into one's lap — one can 
then be, on occasion, as ungrateful as one wishes ; second, 
he is in love, and — ^who could blame him — doesn't yet 
consider the matter entirely hopeless, so long as you are 
unmarried; third, he is not at all certain that Miss von 
Werben will accept him, and for this uncertainty he has 
well-founded reasons, which his philosophy and vanity can 
easUy fabricate." 

"You have already repeatedly referred to the fondness 
which Else was supposed to have for the handsome sea 
captain. Much as I admire your penetration, dear Giraldi 
— this is the limit of my credulity." 

"And if I produce indisputable proofs — ^if I have it in 
black and white, by the hand of Else's most intimate girl 
friend, that little Miss von Strnmmin, who left so uncere- 
moniously in order to surprise us from the security of her 
island with the news of her engagement to the sculptor, 
Justus Anders? Please do not laugh; all that I tell you is 
positively true. Mr. Justus Anders, however, is the most 
intimate friend of the Captain; the two pairs of friends. 



STOEM FLOOD 145 

it appears, have no secrets between them; anyhow, Miss 
von Strummin keeps none from her betrothed, and to him 
she wrote in a letter, which arrived this morning, lit- 
erally " 

Giraldi had taken out of the pocket of his dress coat a 
dainty portfolio, and out of this a paper, which he un- 
folded.— 

"If anybody should come, it is a letter from Enrico 
Braga, the sculptor, in Milan — thus writes literally as 
follows : 

"One thing more, beloved artist, at which Lesto would 
bark himself to death with delight if he could understand 
it, and you will be as delighted as a child, which you are : 
My Else loves your Reinhold with all her heart and soul, 
and that means something, for one who knows, as I do, that 
she is all heart, and has the most heavenly soul in the 
world. I have not the permission, and least of all the com- 
mission, to tell you this; but we must no longer play hide 
and seek with each other, you know ; and must also encour- 
age our poor friends, which can be best done by telling 
them hourly that he, or in your case, she, loves you! I 
have at least found it successful with Else. Oh, beloved 
artist! we ought really to be ashamed to be as happy as 
we are, when we remember how unhappy our friends are, 
and simply because of these abominable circumstances. If 
I knew the one who invented these conditions, I should 
like to tell him a thing or two, you bet." 

' ' That is indeed wonderfully interesting, and will interest 
the Count immensely ! ' ' 

"No doubt," said Giraldi, putting the sheet back in his 
portfolio. — "By the way, what a noble soul you are, indeed, 
not to ask from whom I got the letter! But I think we 
will not make it known till we are sure of one thing." 

"Of what?" 

Giraldi leaned over to Carla and looked straight into her 
eyes. — 

Vol. XI — 10 



146 THE GERMAN CLASSICS 

"That you would not finally prefer to make Count Axel 
von Golm happy by oifering your hand to him instead of 
to Ottomar von Werben. ' ' 

"You are horrible, Signor Giraldi, do you know it?" 
said Carla, striking Giraldi 's hands with her handkerchief. 

"If you say so ! — ^Por see, dear lady; that communication 
of Else's maritime affections and relations would finally 
induce the Count to give up his suit, and hitherto we have 
been of the opinion that it would be most convenient for 
all parties concerned to marry him to Else. If you want 
him yourself — and so it appears — now it can be brought 
about; only I should not be overhasty in your case. We 
can prolong the game as long as we wish. And why should 
you not wish to drain the sweetness of the betrothal period 
to the last drop — the more as Ottomar — the truth does not 
offend noble souls — ^hardly knows how to appreciate the 
true worth of the happiness which awaits him in the arms 
of the most charming and gifted of women." 

"That is to say, if I am not mistaken," said Carla, 
"Ottomar must do as you wish; you have him in your 
power. Now, dear friend, I know how powerful your 
hand is; but I confess I do not understand where the 
power lies in this case. That Ottomar has had mistresses, 
presumably still has — well, I, too, have read my Schopen- 
hauer, who says nothing of monogamy, because he was 
never able to discover it; and I do not wish to be the woman 
who finds her lover less interesting because he is interesting 
to other women. His debts? Grands Dieux! Tell me one 
who has none ! And my brother says it is really not so bad. 
My brother insists upon hastening our wedding, and now 
my sister-in-law does, too. The General himself is, as you 
know, uncomfortably persistent in the pursuance of his 
plans, and society would be beside itself if we were not on 
our bridal tour by the beginning of March ; on the fifteenth 
Ottomar is to take up his appointment in St. Petersburg." 

"If we agree in other things, let us make our arrange- 
ments accordingly," replied Giraldi; "by the middle of 



STORM FLOOD 147 

February you will find that your delicately sensitive nature 
is no longer equal to the demands of the season, that you 
needs must have, before entering upon the new chapter of 
your life, composure and quiet which the city cannot give 
you, which you can find only in the seclusion of the country. 
And it fortunately so happens now that, at the same time, 
my dear friend, the Baroness, impelled by need of rest, is 
seeking quiet in the seclusion of Warnow. I have reserved 
the castle and park of the Count, who is the owner of the 
estates since this morning, for the months of February and 
March, expressly for this purpose. He will be delighted to 
learn that Miss von Wallbach wishes to share the retire- 
ment of the aunt of her betrothed. Not alone! The 
Baroness will be accompanied, at her urgent request, by 
Miss Else. Note that! The Count, whose business at this 
time — of first importance, the building of the harbor at 
Warnow — ^will make it necessary for him to sojourn in the 
country, will do all in hi| power to enliven the loneliness of 
the ladies. Your brother — I myself — we shall come and 
go. What a spectacle, to observe the awakening of spring 
in the country, on the shore of the sea, perhaps also dear 
Else's silent fondness for the man of her choice, who, in 
his new position — he has been for some days Pilot Com- 
mander — I believe that is what they call it — in Wissow, 
will be just as far from Warnow as the Count is from the 
castle! What do you think of my little plan?" 

"Chai'ming!" said Carla — "A deux mains! But can it 
be carried out?" 

"Let that be my concern. Only give me your two pretty 
hands to assure me that you will support me. ' ' 

"Here they are!" 

"And I press upon both of them my lips as a seal of rati- 
fication. ' ' 

"Now I must venture to interrupt your tete-d-tete," said 
von Wallbach, entering from the reception room. — "The 
company is complete; only Ottomar, whose companionship 
we must forego, and the Baroness are wanting. ' ' 



148 THE GERMAN CLASSICS 

"I forgot to state," said Giraldi, greeting von Wall- 
bach, "the Baroness wishes me to excuse? her — an indispo- 
sition — her overwrought nerves " 

"Oh!" said von Wallbach, "what a pity! Would you 
have the kindness, Carla, to tell Luise? It will make no 
further disturbance, as I was to conduct the Baroness; 
you, Mr. Giraldi, Baroness Kniebreche has requested to 
accompany her." 

Giraldi bowed; Carla went out. 

"One moment," whispered von Wallbach, drawing 
Giraldi back by the arm, "I am glad, very glad, that the 
Baroness is not coming. This is a day of surprises. This 
morning, Golm, to the unspeakable astonishment of all 
of us — ^Liibbener can't compose himself yet — ^paid down in 
one lump the half million ; the concession, for whose publi- 
cation we should have had to wait weeks, as there was 
always a question of the security, will be printed tomorrow 
in the Staatsanzeiger — yes, yes, my dear Sir, you may de- 
pend upon it! I have it with absolute certainty from Privy 
Councilor von Strumm, who only begs that we shall not 
betray him. — It is to be a delightful surprise for us, coming 
from the Minister ; and — and — dear friend ! — 1 am not eas- 
ily disconcerted, but c'est plus fort que mot — from the same 
absolutely reliable source I learn that the General does not 
appear in the Army promotions, which are likewise to be 
published tomorrow." 

"That means?" asked Giraldi. 

"That means that he has been passed over, that he — 
according to our notions — ^must retire for the sake of ap- 
pearances." 

"How strange!" said Giraldi. 

"So it is, and can't be otherwise," continued von Wall- 
bach with emotion; "I should be able to understand the 
step, indeed, the necessity of it, if only by removing him 
our matter could be put through ; as it is, however, as we 
have the concession in our pocket without that " 

"An unnecessary cruelty," said Giraldi. 



STORM FLOOD 149 

"Isn't it? And one that will have other consequences. 
I prophesy that Ottomar will not go to St. Petersburg." 

"That would be more than cruel — that would be ridicu- 
lous," said Griraldi, 

"You don't understand our conditions; our people are 
very consistent in such things." 

Giraldi was spared the answer. In the door of the recep- 
tion room appeared, leaning on Carla's arm, the bent form 
of an old lady, who moved to and fro a gigantic black fan, 
and exclaimed with a loud metallic voice : "If Mr. Griraldi 
doesn't come to old Kniebreche, old Kniebreche must come 
to Mr. Giraldi." 

"I come on wings!" said Giraldi. 

[Eeinhold comes to take leave of the Werbens, hears the 
news that the General has not been promoted, finds Else 
depressed. Else pours out her heart concerning Ferdi- 
nande, her father and Ottomar, and his betrothal to Carla. 
Eeinhold declares he loves her, and holds her in his em- 
brace. Else kisses her compass, her talisman, and slips it 
back into her pocket. 

Eeinhold starts for Sundin to report and take his post 
at Wissow. At the railroad station Justus tells Eeinhold 
of his betrothal to Mieting, but fears that Mieting's father 
may change his mind. Eeinhold assures Justus that there 
is no danger of Strummin getting rich from the conces- 
sion, that the railroad must be a failure, and Strummin 
will be glad enough to have him as a son-in-law. Justus 
declares that he has produced nothing worth while since 
he has been in love — "Oh! this love, this love!" Uncle 
Ernst has been elected to the city council and will be elected 
next year to the Eeichstag. Eeinhold 's train moves off. 
Ottomar is on board, and expects to be the guest of Golm 
in the spring. The President enters the coupe where Rein- 
hold is. He is much excited, having been in Berlin pro- 
testing against the concession. The whole railroad situa- 



150 THE GERMAN CLASSICS 

tion is ventilated. The President recalls Eeinhold's first 
prophecy of the storm flood. 

Madame and Miss von Wallbaoh, Else and Golm, are at 
dinner at Castle Warnow as the guests of Valerie. Golm's 
advances to Else are repelled, and he makes slighting re- 
marks about Reinhold. Else defends Eeinhold and leaves 
the room in disgust. Golm protests to Madame von Wall- 
bach that Reinhold will probably object even to the re- 
moval of the dunes, because they are necessary for pro- 
tection. Madame von Wallbach is disgusted at the failure 
of the match between Gohn and Else, and threatens to go 
home. Golm now turns his attentions to Carla, asks her to 
take a ride, and steals a kiss. Carla and Else have an alter- 
cation about Ottomar and Golm, Carla having learned from 
Giraldi of Ottomar 's relations to Ferdinande. Madame 
von Wallbach tells Carla she need not object to Ottomar 's 
mistresses, for all men have them, nor to his debts, for 
Golm has debts too. Strununin asks Golm for the money 
he had loaned him, which is now needed to set up Mieting. 
Golm and Carla ride off alone. 

Else, fatigued and disturbed, starts out for a walk in 
the open, while her aunt Valerie lies in a sleepy stupor in 
her room. Else comes through the portiere just in time to 
see Golm kiss Carla. She now considers the bond between 
Carla and Ottomar broken. She contrasts their relations 
with her own to Eeinhold, and longs to see Reinhold. She 
goes into the park whose regular lines oppress her. She 
wanders on till she comes to the Politz house, where she 
learns that little Karl, who was sick when she was there 
before, has died. The Politz family is in a bad plight, re- 
flecting the evil character of the Count. Else listens to 
the sad stories of Mrs. Politz and her sister-in-law, Marie, 
whona Golm has seduced, and hurries on to Wissow Hook 
to see Eeinhold.] 

Mrs. Politz had said it was an hour's walk to Wissow 
Hooki but .it seemed to Else- &« if the very winding- way 



STOEM FLOOD 151 

would never end. And yet she walked so fast that she left 
the little empty hay wagon just as far behind her as it was 
ahead of her at the start. The wretched vehicle was the 
only sign of human activity; otherwise the brown plain 
lay as bare as a desert as far as the eye could reach; not 
a single large tree was to be seen, only here and there a 
few scattered willows and tangled shrubbery on the ditches, 
which ran this way and that, and a broader, slowly flowing 
brook constantly widening, which she crossed on an unsafe 
wooden bridge, without a railing. The brook must have 
come from the range of hills to the right, at the base of 
which Else saw, in striking contrast, the buildings of the 
other two Warnow estates, Gristow and Damerow. Swing- 
ing around in a great bend, she gradually ascended to 
Wissow Hook, which lay directly before her, while the 
plain to the left extended without the least undulation to the 
lower dunes, lifting their white crests here and there above 
the edge of the heath. Only once a leaden gray streak, 
which must be the sea, although Else could scarcely dis- 
tinguish it from the sky, appeared for a few minutes in an 
opening through which the brook may have had its source. 

For the sky above her too was a leaden gray, except that 
it seemed somewhat darker above the sea. In the east, 
then above the hills toward the west, and along the leaden 
gray vault here and there, scattered white spots floated, 
like powder smoke, motionless in the still air. Not the 
slightest breeze was stirring, and yet from time to time a 
strange whisper crept through the waste as if the brown 
heath were trying to rouse itself from deep sleep, and a 
soft, long continued sound of. sadness could be heard 
through the heavy murky air, aiid then again a boundless 
stillness, when Else thought she could hear her heart beat. 

But almost more terrible than the silence of the waste 
was the cry of a flock of gulls, which she had scared up 
from one of the many hollows of the heath, and which now, 
flying to a,nd fro in. the gray air, with the points of their 



152 THE GEEMAN CLASSICS 

bills turned downward, followed her for a long time, as 
if in raging anger at the intruder on their domain. 

Nevertheless she walked on and on, faster and faster, 
following an impulse that admitted no opposition to her 
determination, which was even stronger than the horror 
which seemed to come over her from the sky and ground, 
like the breath of spirits threatening and warning with 
demon voices. — ^And then yet another terrible dread ! Even 
from the far distance — at the foot of the mountain promon- 
tory, rising higher — she had noticed dark, moving points, 
as she convinced herself, now that they were coming nearer 
— ^laborers, several hundred, who were carting dirt and 
filling in an apparently endless dam, which had already 
reached a considerable height. She could not avoid cross- 
ing the dam, and if she did not wish to make a detour she 
must intersect the long line of carters. This she did with 
a friendly greeting to those nearest to her. The men, who 
were already suflSciently bothered, stopped their carts and 
glared at her without returning her salutation. When she 
had gone a short distance further, shouts and coarse laugh- 
ter resounded behind her. Turning involuntarily, she saw 
that a few of the band had followed her and did not stop 
until she turned — checked, perhaps, only by the noise which 
the others made. She continued her way almost running. 
There was now only a narrow path over the short parched 
grass and across the broad strips of sand with which the 
ascending slope of the promontory was covered. Else said 
to herself that she could be seen by the men until she 
reached the top, might be followed by them at any moment, 
or if she turned back — ^the twilight had settled about her, 
the men perhaps had stopped work for the day, and there 
was no overseer to hold their coarseness in check, the rude 
men having the whole endless plain as far as Warnow to 
insult, scare and annoy her — should she turn about at once 
while there was time, ask for an overseer to accompany 
her, perhaps try to have the hay wagon, which she had 
overtaken a while before and was now nearing the laborers. 



STOEM FLOOD 153 

carry her on, or another wagon which from her elevation 
she discovered far in the distance and which must have fol- 
lowed her ? — There was only the one way over the heath. 

While Else was thus considering, as if drawn by magic 
she hastened with beating heart up the slope, the upper 
edge of which was clearly distinguishable from the vault 
of the sky by an even line rising toward the sea. With 
every step the sea and the chains of dunes extended farther 
to the left; now her glance swept out to where the misty 
sky met the misty sea, and beyond the beautifully arched 
curve of the coast to wooded Golmberg, which had a threat- 
ening look against the blue-black background. Above the 
tree-tops, huddled in a vague mass, loomed the tower of the 
castle. Between Golmberg yonder and the height on which 
she stood — inhospitable as the sea itself, from which she 
was separated only by the yellow border of the dunes — 
the brown plain she was traversing ; the only habitation of 
man — the fisher village of Ahlbeck, which now, hard by 
the foot of the promonto'i'y, lay almost at her feet. Yonder 
too, on the broad beach between the houses and the sea, 
extended long moving lines of workmen up to the two moles 
which, with their ends pointing toward each other, extended 
far into the sea. At the moles were a few large craft which 
seemed to be unloading, while a fleet of fishing-boats all 
moved in the same direction toward the shore. They had 
reefed their sails, and were being propelled only by oars. 
The even position of the brown sails and the uniform mo- 
tion of the oars of the fishing boats were in strange con- 
trast with the confused disorder of the white gulls, which 
a while ago had circled above her and now flew ceaselessly 
at half the elevation between her and the shore. 

All this she saw, however, with the keen eye of a falcon, 
as a traveler on the train mechanically observes the details 
of the landscape he is passing, while his thoughts have 
long been at home, tasting the joys he will experience at 
sight' of the loved ones from whom he has so long been 
separated. She dared not hope to look into his dear eyes, 



154 THE GERMAN CLASSICS 

to grasp his dear hands in hers, to hear the sound of his 
strong, yet gentle voice. She wished only to see the place 
where he lived. 

And even this slight consolation, she thought, should be 
guarded. She had already gone in the same cross direc- 
tion, some distance on the ridge of the hills, without obtain- 
ing a view of the other side where Wissow must be located 
— only a view over the edge of the plateau, a leaden gray. 
Perhaps if she followed the broader road which she was 
now approaching, and which, coming from the right, led to 
a pile of great boulders, whence a tall signal staff arose, 
and which must have been built on the top of the ridge — 
presumably also on the extreme edge of the promon- 
tory ! 

As a matter of fact, as she ascended higher and higher a 
pale streak appeared over to the right — ^the coast of the 
continent — then again the leaden gray surface of the sea, 
upon which a sail could be discerned here and there ; finally, 
on this side, immediately below her, a white point of dunes, 
which gradually gre\<r wider in the shape of a wedge toward 
the promontory, till it became a small flat peninsula, in 
the middle of which a dozen small houses lay on the brown 
heath among the dunes — that was Wissow ! That must be 
Wissow ! 

And now that she stood on the point which she had striven 
with all her physical and mental strength to reach, and, 
however longingly she extended her arms, the goal of her 
longing still lay so far, so unattainably far from her — now 
for the first time she thought she understood the silent 
dreadful speech of the waste, the loneliness about her, the 
rustling whisper of the heath, the voices of spirits wailing 
in the air: Alone! ..Alone! 'Unspeakable sorrow arose in 
her heart; her knees shook,, she sank near- the boulders 
upon a stone, covered her eyes with, her hands- and broke 
into loud crying, like a helpless, abandoned child. .- • 

She did not see a man, who was leaning/against. the Signal 
staff observing the sea,, startled by .the strange sound near 



STORM FLOOD 155 

him, come from behind the boulders ; she did not hear him 
coming up to her with hurried steps across the narrow 
grass plot. 

"Else!" 

She started up with a stifled shriek. 

"Else!" 

And then she cried aloud — a cry of wild joy, which echoed 
strangely through the noiseless stillness — and she lay on 
his breast, clung to him, as one drowning. 

' ' Eeinhold ! My Reinhold ! ' ' 

She wept, she laughed, she cried again and again, "My 
Eeinhold!" 

Speechless for joy and astonishment at the precious mir- 
acle, he drew her to him upon the rock on which she had 
sat; she pressed her head upon his breast. 

"I so longed for you!" 

"Else, dear Else!" 

"I had to come, I could not do otherwise; I was drawn 
hither by spirit hands ; "And now I have you, you ! never 
leave me again! Take me with you down to your house 
yonder. There is my home! With you! With you! Do 
not thrust me out again into the dreary, loveless, false 
world there behind me ! Only with you is joy, rest, peace, 
truth, fidelity! your dear, true heart, how it beats; I 
feel it! It loves me as I do you! It has yearned for me 
as my poor shattered heart has for you, for you ! ' ' 

"Yes, my Else, it has yearned for you, unspeakably, 
beyond measure. I climbed up here, because it had no 
peace; I only wished to cast a glance out there where I 
knew you to be — a last look, before- " 

"Before? For Heaven's sake!" 

He had led her the few steps to the boulders and now 
stood, throwing his arm about her, close to the edge of the 
promontory, whose sullen front was so steep that she 
seemed to be floating in the air above the gray sea. 

"See, Else, that is the storm! I hear it, I see it, as if it 
were already let loose! Hours may yet pass, but it will 



156 THE GERMAN CLASSICS 

come, it must come — as all signs indicate — ^with fearful vio- 
lence. The metallic surface there below us, stirred into 
raging waves, will dash its foam up to this height! Woe 
to the ships which have not sought shelter in the harbor, 
perchance there to be secure against its wild fury! Woe 
to the lowlands down there below us ! I wished to write to 
you about it this morning, for I saw it even yesterday, and 
tell you it would be better for you to leave Warnow ; but you 
would not have gone if I had. ' ' 

"Never! I am too proud that you trust me, that you 
have told me this ! And when the storm breaks loose, and 
I know that your precious life is exposed to danger — I will 
not tremble; and, if I fear, surely I will not despair. I 
will say all the time: 'He could not fail to do his duty, or 
to be the brave man whom I love ; what if he thought that 
I were weeping and wringing my hands, while he has to 
command and steer as on that evening!' Do you know, 
my love, do you know that I Ipved you then? And do you 
know that you said to me that I had eyes like a seaman? 
how well I remember every word ; every look ! And how 
happy I was that I did not have to give the compass back 
to you at once ; I did not wish to keep it, you were to have 
it back again " 

"Then you were more honorable than I, dear! I was 
determined not to give the glove back to you. You had 
taken it off when you looked through my telescope ; it lay 
on the deck. I picked it up; it has accompanied me so 
faithfully ever since — do you see? It has been my talis- 
man ! Seamen are superstitious ; I swore not to part with 
it till I held your hand in mine forever, instead of the 
glove." He kissed the little blue-gray glove before he put 
it back into his breast-pocket. 

They had again seated themselves upon the rock, caress- 
ing, whispering fond words, jesting in happy phrases, 
pressing heart to heart and lips to lips, forgetful of the 
desolate waste in the blissful paradise of their young love, 
forgetful of the darkness which became more dense, forget- 



STORM FLOOD 157 

ful of the storm which was brewing in the leadlike air over 
the leadlike sea, like the angel of destruction brooding over 
a world which he finally hopes to destroy forever and to 
hurl back into primeval chaos. 

A sullen, rolling, trembling sound in the distance caused 
them to stop and listen; suddenly a roaring sound pene- 
trated the air, without their noticing, even at this eleva- 
tion, any motion, and this was again followed by an abso- 
lute stillness. Eeinhold jumped up. 

"It is coming faster than I thought; we have not a mo- 
ment to lose." 

"What are you going to do?" 

' ' Take you back. ' ' 

"That you must not do; you must remain at your post 
of duty ; on that account you did not go to Warnow today ; 
how could you now go so far, when the peril is so much 
nearer? No, no, dear; do not look at me with such con- 
cern! I must learn to live without fear, and I am going 
to do it; I have determined to do it. No more fear from 
this moment on, not even of men! I can no longer live 
without you, and you can no longer live without me. If I 
did not know it before, I know it now ; and, believe me, my 
noble father is the first that will understand it. Indeed, 
he must have felt it when he told me what he wrote to you : 
' I place your fate in your own hands. ' Ottomar and your 
aunt share my inheritance; my proud father would not 
take anything from me, and you — you take me as I am, and 
lead me down there forever! One more glimpse of my 
paradise, and one more kiss! And now, farewell, fare- 
well!" 

He embraced her fondly, and was about to let her go; 
but he held her hand fast in his. 

"It is impossible, Else; it is growing dark up here; in 
half an hour it will be night down there. You are not safe 
on the road, which cannot be distinguished from the heath, 
and the heath is full of deep moors — it is simply impos- 
sible. Else!" 



158 THE GERMAN CLASSICS 

"It must be possible! I should despise myself if I kept 
you from your duty; and how could you love me and not 
feel your love a burden if I did so? How do you know 
that you will not be very soon, perhaps are even now, 
needed down below? And the people are standing help- 
less, looking for their commander ! Eeinhold, my love, am 
t right or not?" 

"You are indeed right; but " 

"No but, dear; we must part." 

Thus speaking, they went hand in hand, with hasty steps, 
down the path by which Else had ascended, and stood now 
at the cross-path which led in both directions — to the War- 
now heath over here, and to the Wissow peninsula over 
there. 

"Only to the foot of the hill, till I know you are on the 
right road," said Eeinhold. 

"Not a step farther! Hark! What was that?" 

He, too, had heard it — a noise like that of horses' hoofs, 
which struck in swiftest pace upon the hard ground behind 
the hill rising in their rear and making impossible a further 
view of the ridge of the promontory, which sloped more 
rapidly at that point. The next moment a rider came in 
sight over the hill. He was now at the top, stopped his 
horse, stood up in his stirrups and appeared to be looking 
about him. 

"It is the Count!" said Else. 

A deep flush came into her face. "Now, you will have to 
accompany me for a little distance, ' ' said she. * ' Come ! ' ' 

She took his arm. At that moment the Count, who had 
looked beyond them, to the hill, turning his eyes downward, 
saw them both. He gave his horse the spurs, and, galloping 
down the slope, was with them in an instant. He had al- 
ready seen Eeinhold, doubtless, but as he checked his horse 
and lifted his hat his face did not show the slightest trace 
of astonishment or wonder ; he seemed rather not to notice 
Eeinhold at all, as if he had met Else alone. 

"That I call good fortune. Miss Else! How your aunt 



STOEM FLOOD 159 

will rejoice! She is waiting over there; the carriage 
couldn't go farther " 

He pointed with the butt of his whip over the hill. 

"My Heavens, Miss Else ! Even if you look at me twice 
as astonished! Your aunt is worried because you have 
been away so long. — Messengers in the neighborhood 
heard of Politz that you had come hither — strange notion, 
Miss Else, by Heavens! — your aunt insisted upon coming 
herself — stayed behind with Miss von Wallbach — oifered to 
accompany her — ^most despairing — astounding luck! Beg 
permission to accompany you to the carriage, not two hun- 
dred paces." 

He leaped from the saddle and took his horse by the 
bridle-rein. 

Eeinhold looked Else straight in the eye ; she understood 
and answered the look. 

"We're very grateful to you. Count," said he, "but 
shouldn't like to try your kindness a moment longer than 
is necessary. I shall accompany my betrothed myself to 
the Baroness." 

"Oh!" exclaimed the Count. 

He had rejoiced in advance over the utter confusion 
which, in his opinion, the discovered lovers must have felt 
in his presence, and which would shock the Baroness if he 
could tell her in whose company he had the good fortune 
to find her niece. For, that the fellow would traipse down 
to Wissow with an expression of stammering embarrass- 
ment, he assumed as a matter of course, now that he had 
gone so far. And now! He thought he had not heard 
aright, he could hardly believe his eyes, when Else and the 
fellow, turning their backs upon him as if he were not 
there, walked on arm in arm. With a leap he was back in 
the saddle. 

"Then allow me, at least, to announce the happy event 
to the Baroness!" he exclaimed ironically, lifting his hat 
as he passed, and hurrying ahead of them up the hill, 
beyond which he soon vanished. 



160 THE GERMAN CLASSICS 

' ' The wretch ! ' ' cried Else. ' ' I thank you, Reinhold, that 
you understood, that you have freed me forever from him, 
from all of them ! You cannot imagine how thankful I am 
and why I am so thankful to you ! I will not now burden 
you, dear heart, with the hateful things which I have experi- 
enced ; I shall tell you another time. Come what may, I am 
yours and you are mine ! This joy is so great — everything 
else is small and insignificant compared with it ! " 

An open carriage was standing a short distance from 
them and by it a rider. They thought it was the Count, but 
coming nearer they saw that it was a servant. The Count 
had vanished with a scornful laugh, after communicating 
the great discovery to the Baroness, and receiving only 
the answer, "I thank you. Count, for your escort thus far!" 
The two last words had been spoken with special emphasis 
and, lifting his hat again, he rode off at a gallop from 
the road over the hills. 

The Baroness left the carriage and came to meet the 
lovers. Else released Eeinhold's arm and hastened to meet 
her aunt; she told all that was necessary by impulsively 
embracing her. As Eeinhold came up the Baroness ex- 
tended her hand to him and said in a voice full of emotion, 
"You bring me the dear child and — yourself! Then have 
double thanks!" 

Eeinhold kissed the trembling hand. — "It is not a time 
for many words. Baroness," said he, "and what I feel your 
kind heart knows. God 's blessing upon you ! ' ' 

"And upon thee, my Eeinhold!" exclaimed Else, em- 
bracing him; "God's blessing! And joy and happiness!" 

He helped the ladies into the carriage; one clasp of her 
dear hand, and the company was off, the servant riding 
ahead. 

Notwithstanding the hilly ground, as the road was good 
and the ground firm, they could ride sufficiently fast even 
here upon the hill, and Eeinhold had urged all possible 
haste. Only a few minutes had passed when the carriage 
had vanished from his sight behind the hills; when it 



STORM FLOOD 161 

reached the plain below, and became visible again, half an 
hour had elapsed. He had not time to wait for that; he 
must not lose a minute more. 

Down in Wissow the beacons were already lighted; at 
this moment the signal for a pilot blazed up from the sea. 
They would answer promptly — he knew they would ; but a 
new situation might come any moment which would require 
his presence ; and it would take him a quarter of an hour 
at a full run to get down there. 

He ran down the hill in long bounds, when a rider ap- 
peared right before him in a hollow of the ground, which 
extended to the right in a deep depression along the length 
of the promontory, and stood on the path. It happened so 
suddenly that Reinhold almost ran into the horse. 

"You seem to be in a very great hurry, now," said the 
Count. 

"I am in a great hurry," replied Eeinhold, breathless 
from his rapid running — ^nd was about to go past the head 
of the horse ; but the Count pulled the horse around so that 
his head was toward Reinhold. 

"Make room!" exclaimed Reinhold. 

"I am on my own ground," replied the Count. "The 
road is free, and you are for freedom of all sorts." 

' ' Once more — ^Make room ! ' ' 

"If I wish to do so." 

Reinhold seized the bridle of the horse, which reared high 
from the sharp spurs in his flank; Reinhold reeled back- 
ward. The next moment he drew his long knife, which as 
a seaman he always carried with him. 

"I should be sorry for the horse," he exclaimed, "but if 
you will not have it otherwise " 

"I only wished to say 'Good evening. Commander' — I 
forgot it a while ago; Good evening!" 

The Count lifted his hat with scornful laughter, turned 

his horse about again, and rode off to one side of the valley 

from whence he had come. 

"That kind won't learn anything," muttered Reinhold, 
Vol.. XI — a 



162 THE GEEMAN CLASSICS 

shutting Ms knife again. It was a word that he had often 
heard from his Uncle Ernst. As he felt now, so must Uncle 
Ernst have felt in that moment when the dagger came down 
upon him — the dagger of her father. "Great Heavens!" 
he reflected. "Is it true then that the sins of the father 
are visited upon the children? That this combat, handed 
down from generations, was to continue forever ? That we 
ourselves, who are guiltless, must renew it against our will 
and our convictions?" 

A sound of thunder, still in the distance, but clear, louder 
and more threatening than before, rolled through the heavy 
air; and again a gust of wind followed it — this time no 
longer in the upper air, but raging along the hill and the 
slopes of the promontory, echoing with screeches and 
groans in the ravines. The next gust might strike the sea, 
letting loose the storm which would bring the flood. 

There was another storm for which human machinations 
appear as child's play, and human hate as an offense, but 
one feeling remains victorious — love! That Eeinhold felt 
in the depth of his heart, as he hastened downward to re- 
deem the minutes which had been foolishly lost, to risk 
his life if it must be, in spite of it all, for the lives of other 
men. 

[Valerie having heard of the reason for Else's absence 
starts out to look for her, Golm discovers Else and Eein- 
hold and spreads the news of their betrothal. Else writes 
a hasty note to her father, telling him all. Upon Else's 
return, Valerie expresses her sympathy, and tells her the 
long sad story of her life. Valerie had loved her deceased 
husband with a boundless love, but was carried away by a 
passion for Signor Giraldi, before she was married to von 
Warnow. The early years of her married life had been 
spent largely in, travel ; but still her heart was ill at ease. 
On their journeys they came to Eome, where Valerie met 
Giraldi again, coming hopelessly under the spell of his 
magic power. In the midst of it all her husband dies, leav- 



STORM FLOOD 163 

ing a strange, complicated will, which disinherited the 
children of the General, her brother, in case they should 
marry outside of the nobility. After her husband's death 
she had Giraldi as counselor and companion, and man- 
ager of her affairs. 

The storm has raged all day through the streets of 
Berlin, and a financial storm, still more fierce, has been 
raging in the Exchange, shaking many a proud counting- 
house to its foundations by the wild speculation in stocks. 
The Berlin-Sundin railway has been the storm centre, and 
Philip Schmidt, the great promoter, has been making full 
use of the French proverb, sauve qui peut. It is the evening 
of the ball at Philip 's new house ; guests, many and mighty, 
throng the burgher palace of the young promoter, whose 
democratic motto is to bring together poets and kings, 
artists and speculators. Even the venerable Baroness 
Kniebreche was all curiosity to see the luxury and the 
motley throng. The Wallbachs, the Werbens, Golm, Liib- 
bener, Justus and Mieting, Krethe and Plethe, all are there. 
Toasts are drunk, speeches are made, wine flows freely, and 
spirits run high. The air is charged with financial and 
social gossip. Giraldi expects Ottomar's engagement with 
Carla to be broken. A duel between Ottomar and Wall- 
bach is impending. If Valerie consents on the morrow to 
Giraldi 's plans, there will not be left one stone of the 
Werben fortune upon another — dallying, temporizing, dip- 
lomatizing are the order of the day. Antonio watches 
Ottomar and disturbs Giraldi 's mind. Schieler declares 
Golm a ruined man, and engages with Liibbener, who is pale 
with concern, in conversation about Philip. Giraldi has 
just drawn the last fifty thousand from Haselow, making 
it impossible for Haselow to help Liibbener. 

Philip excuses himself to Baroness Kniebreche for a few 
minutes, to move around among the guests. He comes 
upon Liibbener and Schieler in a corner, addresses Liib- 
bener as "Dear Hugo," and tells him that this splendor is 
all due to him. At the close of a laudatory speech in honor 



164 THE GERMAN CLASSICS 

of Philip, an oflScer, whom Liibbener has ordered, comes in 
to arrest Philip. Philip seizes Liibbener by the wrist, tell- 
ing him he shall pay for it. Philip and the oflScer, Miiller, 
leave the company and go upstairs, that Philip may change 
his clothes. They pass through one room after another 
until they reach Philip's bedroom. "While Philip changes 
the officer sits and waits; he hears a rustle, but suddenly 
all is quiet. The time grows long. He goes to the door, 
only to find Philip gone and himself a prisoner. It is an- 
nounced that Philip has had a stroke. The police rescue the 
officer. The ball breaks up. Ottomar quarrels with Wall- 
bach, and is to give notice in the morning. Antonio is in 
evidence and threatens to stab Ottomar, but Bertalde inter- 
poses. 

Von Wallbach writes to the General that he cannot accept 
Ottomar 's challenge to a duel until Ottomar can clear his 
record of the reported scandal. Captain von Schonau of- 
fers to help the General pay Ottomar 's debts, but Colonel 
von Bohl comes to inform the General that Ottomar 's notes 
are all forged, that Giraldi had been paying Ottomar 's 
notes as they came due, and promised to pay the twenty 
thousand, but had drawn the half million from the bank, 
and left during the night for Warnow. The General, in- 
stead of signing the order to pay Ottomar 's debts, tears 
it up, sends Ottomar one of his brace of pistols, and loads 
the other to shoot the devil who lured his son into shame. 

Ottomar is at the lodging of Bertalde, who goes to fetch 
Ferdinande. Ottomar plans to go to America, which 
Bertalde says is all nonsense. She declares Ottomar is 
not going to leave her room, and that Ferdinande shall 
stay with him — ^ ' these men act like children with their silly 
honor." Ferdinande writes a note to her father, and gives 
it to Cilli to deliver. 

Cilli finds Uncle Ernst in a bad state of mind, but his 
heart warms as he sees the blind girl, who delivers the let- 
ter and pleads for Ferdinande. She starts home by way 



STORM FLOOD 165 

of the studio, and kneels down before Justus' statue of 
Mieting. 

Justus and Mieting are looking for furniture to set up 
housekeeping, and find a bargain at Isaac Lobstein's. On 
the way back they chat of all sorts of things, and speak of 
Cilli, for whom, Mieting says, they must provide, because 
Justus would have married her if she hadn't been blind and 
he so ugly! They return to the studio and find Cilli dead 
before Mieting 's bust. 

The General is at the station to take the train for Sundin 
on the way to Warnow. The storm has interfered with 
traffic, and the General is frantic. Uncle Ernst is likewise 
waiting for a train to Sundin. He has engaged a special, 
and invites the General to ride with him. Uncle Ernst 
pours out his soul to the General, and pleads for the chil- 
dren; but the General replies that all are biased by tradi- 
tion in judging their fellowmen. The special train for 
Uncle Ernst is announced. A message from Else is handed 
to the General : ' ' Comedy the next train. Fearful storm. 
Shall perhaps have to go to Reinhold. Aunt will then be 
left alone with the terrible man. Come for my sake, for 
Ottomar's sake, for Aunt's sake, who has thrown herself 
on our protection. Everything is at stake. Else." 

Madame von Wallbach insists upon going home, as Carla 
is committed to Golm, and they can no longer be the guests 
of Ottomar's friends. But Valerie cannot send them, be- 
cause she wishes to accompany Else to Wissow Hook. The 
tenant, Damberg, repeats Reinhold 's statement that "if the 
wind comes from the east there will be a bad storm flood. ' ' 
Valerie starts for Wissow. As they hear the surf breaking 
on the dunes, Else shrinks at the thought of Reinhold being 
in such peril. Valerie comforts her. 

Giraldi arrives at Warnow, much the worse for the 
stormy journey. Madame von Wallbach tells him what he 
is, and what she thinks of him, and informs him that 
Valerie is going to look out for Else and Ottomar and will 
them her property. He is disconcerted by the calm dis- 



166 THE GERMAN CLASSICS • 

closure of Ms schemes by what he has hitherto thought an 
insignificant woman. He bribes Frangois to spy for him 
secretly, and sends him to Valerie in Wissow with a letter, 
charging her with having fled from him, and demanding 
that she return by six o'clock. Giraldi rages about the 
weather, "made for barbarians," while the storm shakes 
the castle. Count Golm sends back his jockey to get a 
handkerchief for Carla, while he and Carla ride on over 
the dunes toward the sea. The jockey declares that 
they will not be heard from before tomorrow, as he knows 
the Count and his wiles. 

As the jockey rides back the Count begins his game, 
kisses Carla, and disarranges her hat; he excuses his con- 
duct, as this is the first time he has been alone with the 
prettiest girl in the world. Carla is intoxicated with de- 
light, and, as the Count suggests they may have to remain 
alone, she replies : * ' An eternity — ^with you ! ' ' She makes 
him swear that he will declare their engagement in the 
presence of Valerie, Else, and Giraldi, and will marry her 
within four weeks. He swears, with reservation, by his 
honor, but begins to ponder the bargain. Carla throws her- 
self impulsively into his arms exclaiming: "With you. 
With you ! Take me, take me ! I am yours, yours, yours ! ' ' 
The Count is now bent on the boldest plunge of all; he 
rides for the inn at Ahlbeck, where they can spend the 
night. As they reach the village, all is confusion in the 
streets. The people are rushing from the houses, crying, 
howling, raging. The Count rides over a woman ; the mob 
rush after him with curses, clubs, sticks, and knives, while 
Carla rides on over the dune. When the Count finally 
reaches her she has discovered his character, and is silent. 
They seek shelter at the house of Politz, who shouts to the 
Count— "Away with your butchery!" Carla finally falls 
to the ground and cries — "Wretch! Go away with your 
butchery!" The Count is undone, and weeps like a child.] 

"It is half -past four o'clock," said Else; "we must go. 



STOEM FLOOD 167 

Stay here ! I am not sure that Father has arrived yet ; even 
if he left by the noon train, he can't be in Warnow yet; but 
that dreadful man is certainly there, waiting for you, will 
perhaps go away again without waiting for your return — " 

"I must speak with him," muttered Valerie. 

"And you must speak with him alone, though I don't 
wish you to do so; and so we must go " 

"Without taking along any consolation for you, poor 
child!" 

"I am consoled; I am quite calm. — You must know that 
from the way I talk and look." 

Else bent down to her aunt and kissed her pale lips. 

They were sitting at the window of Eeinhold's study, to 
the right of the entrance of the one-storied house — a rather 
large one in comparison with the other houses. Else had 
been in almost all of them — in the houses of the two chief 
pilots, and in five or six of the twelve houses occupied 
by the other twenty-four pilots; and she would have gone 
into the houses of the other pilots, also, and the fisher- 
houses, of which there might have been several dozen, 
but it was not necessary, because the people were 
standing in the doors and stretching out their hands wher- 
ever she came — wrinkled hairy hands of a few worn-out 
tars, who had crept out from behind the warm stove ; brown 
strong hands of brown strong women ; small hard hands of 
rough, flaxen-haired children, who looked up with blue 
eyes to the beautiful lady and did not believe their mothers 
when they said that she was not a princess, but the Com- 
mander's betrothed, who was to live here always, and was 
so happy about it ! And the Commander would come back, 
the women said, even if it were a worse storm, the worst 
which Claus Eickmann had ever seen — and he was ninety- 
two years old, so his word must mean something! The 
Commander understood his business, and had six with him 
who also understood their business, and he had already 
been out three times in the new life-boat without once up- 



168 THE GERMAN CLASSICS 

setting, so it would not upset today, especially since Ms 
dear betrothed herself had come to meet him on his return. 

So the women spoke, one after another, almost the same 
words, as if they had previously arranged what they should 
say ; and then they had all said so many good things about 
the Commander, to the effect that he was better than the 
old commander, though he, too, had been a good man ; and 
they had all said the same thing over again, one after the 
other, almost in the same words, with the same frank 
expression, and in the same tone; but Else could have 
heard it a thousand times more, and thanked each one 
individually, as if she heard it for the first time and as 
if it were a message from Heaven. 

And then a whole host of women and girls, with a still 
larger number of children running beside them and after 
them, accompanied her to the place near the end of the 
peninsula, where signal-staffs and great light-buoys were 
placed on a high dune; and behind the dune, which of- 
fered at least some protection, a dense mass of men, in 
high wading boots and strange oilskin hats reaching far 
down behind, were looking out upon the raging sea; and, 
as the young lady slipped into their midst, they raised 
their oilskin hats, and left it to Claus Janssen, the oldest 
of them, to answer the young lady's questions, and lis- 
tened and nodded eagerly, and, when they turned away to 
spy out over the sea, were careful that it was to the lee- 
ward. 

And Claus Janssen related that, in the early morning, 
when it had grown light enough, a yacht, now anchored, 
had run in and brought the news that a ship was aground 
at the Gruenwald Oie, and was flying a signal of distress. 
There was such a high surf at that point that they could see 
only the masts and occasionally the hull and that there 
were people on it, hanging to the riggings. The ship — a 
small Dutch schooner — seemed to be well built, and could 
hold out a few hours or so, as it was on smooth sand, 
if the waves didn't wash the men overboard in the mean- 



STOEM FLOOD 169 

time. From the Oie no one could get to the ship — an ordi- 
nary boat would capsize immediately in the surf ; half an 
hour later the life-boat was launched by the Commander, 
and they could follow it for three hours as it held its 
course against the storm, and they had finally seen it in the 
surf off the Oie. But the surf must have been very heavy, 
and the fog too dense, for they had lost sight of it then — 
even from the crow's nest, with the strongest glass — and 
they didn't know whether the Commander had got aboard 
— it was certainly a hard bit of work, because it had lasted 
so long; but the Commander — he would pull through. And 
now the young lady should go in and have Mrs. Eickmann 
make her a cup of tea; they would give her notice when 
the boat was in sight, and so far as the others were con- 
cerned the young lady should be quite at ease; the Com- 
mander understood his business, and the six who were with 
him understood their business, too ! 

And Else smiled, but not because the man said the same 
thing over again in the same words that the women had 
said, but because, after the assurance from the mouths of 
experienced men, a sweet peace came into her heart! she 
shook the hands of the speakers, the others, and then re- 
turned home with the escort of women and children, and 
repeated to herself, while she spoke to them in words which 
the storm for the most part dissipated — "He understands 
his business, and the six who are with him, they under- 
stand their business, too!" — as if it were a petition which 
she dared not express, and a song of joy which she was 
ashamed to sing aloud. 

Then she had been in the house which was soon to be 
her home ; had drunk tea with her aunt and pacified the 
exhausted creature in a room where they heard as little as 
possible of the storm, and had gone through the entire 
house with a throbbing heart, like a child led by its mother 
to the Christmas dinner, accompanied by Mrs. Eickmann — 
the granddaughter, no longer young — of old Claus Eick- 
mann, a pilot's childless widow, who kept house for Eein- 



170 THE GEEMAN CLASSICS 

hold. It was a modest house and modestly furnished ; but 
she marveled at it all, as if she were wandering through 
an enchanted castle. And how orderly and neat it was! 
And how tasteful, where Mrs. Eickmann's domain in the 
kitchen and rooms stopped and that of the Commander 
began; the furniture, as if she had been asked for advice 
in the selection of each piece ! And the great study table 
covered with books and carefully arranged documents and 
papers, and the large bookcases with glass doors, full of 
beautifully bound books, and another case filled with mys- 
terious nautical instruments, and a third with beautiful 
shells, corals, and stuffed birds ! And then Mrs. Eickmann 
opened a little room adjoining the study of the Commander, 
and Else almost shouted aloud ! It was her room, next to 
the great salon — the same carpet, the same blue rep cover- 
ing of the same sofa, the same chair, the same high wall- 
mirror, with gilded mantel ! And it had only one window, 
too, in which a small arm-chair stood, and a sewing-table 
before the chair — so pretty! And Else had to sit down in 
the chair, because her knees shook, and lay her head on the 
table to weep a few tears of joy and give the table a kiss 
for him whose gentle concern enveloped her here as in a 
soft mantle, and who was now being tossed about out there 
on the raging sea, of which one had a full view from the 
window, risking his precious life for the lives of others ! 

Meanwhile the clock had struck four — although it was 
already as dark as if it had been six — and Mrs. Eickmann 
thought it was high time to get dinner for the Commander, 
if the ladies would not take anything but tea and zwieback. 
She spoke as calmly as if the Commander had been a little 
belated in his row-boat on a smooth sea, instead of hearing 
the storm raging more violently than ever at that moment 
and shaking the little house to its foundations. Aunt Va- 
lerie, not having slept a wink, came terrified from her 
room, to learn from Mrs. Eickmann that there was no rea- 
son to fear, as the house could withstand such a shock 
and that Wissow Hook broke the worst of it; and, as for 



STOEM FLOOD 171 

the flood, the house lay like the others, forty feet higher 
than the sea, and they would wait to see if the flood could 
rise that high! Then Mrs. Eickmann went out into the 
kitchen, after paying her respects to the ladies in the 
Commander's study, and here they sat at the window, 
which also looked out on the sea, each trying to direct her 
thoughts upon the subject that each knew was agitating 
the heart of the other, exchanging from time to time a 
cheering word or pressure of the hand, till Else, noticing 
the increasing uneasiness in the face of her aunt, insisted 
upon immediate departure, because the darkness was rap- 
idly thickening and they could not possibly find their dan- 
gerous way home by night. 

Mrs. Eickmann came in with her frank face red from 
the kitchen fire, and took a modest part in the discussion. 
The ladies could still wait another short hour, it would not 
be any darker before sunset, and the Commander must 
return at any moment^ if his dinner was not to burn. 

Mrs. Eickmann had hardly said this when a heavy hand 
rapped on the window, and a harsh voice cried, "Boat in 
sight!" 

And now Else ran, as if In a confused happy dream, 
to the strand by the side of a man in high wading boots 
and a queer hat, who told her all sorts of things which 
she did not understand, and then was at the place where 
she had been on her arrival, and now up on the dune, upon 
which the beacons flickered in the evening air, in the midst 
of many other men in wading boots and queer hats, who 
pointed toward the sea, and addressed her, though she did 
not understand a word, and one of whom threw a woolen 
jacket around her shoulders, although she did not ask him 
for it, nor thank him. Then suddenly she saw the boat 
quite close, which she had looked for somewhere in the 
thick atmosphere, God knows where, and which was then at 
quite another place, where the shore was flat and the surf 
did not rage so furiously; then she saw the boat again, 
looking twice as large as before, rise with its entire keel 



172 THE GEEMAN CLASSICS 

out of the white foam, and sink again in the foam and 
rise again, while some dozen men ran into the white foam 
which broke above their heads. And then one of them 
came through the rolling swell, in high wading boots, with 
such a queer hat on his head, and she gave a cry of joy 
and rushed toward him and clung to him, and he lifted 
her up and carried her a short distance till she could again 
set her foot on the sand; but whether he carried her far- 
ther, or they flew together, or walked, she did not know, 
and did not really see him till he had changed his clothes 
and was sitting at the dinner table, and was laughing be- 
cause she filled for him one glass of port wine after an- 
other, while her aunt sat by smiling, and Mrs. Eickmann 
came and went, bringing mutton chops, steaming potatoes, 
scrambled eggs, and ham; and he, without taking his eyes 
from her, devouring it all with the hunger of one who had 
not eaten a morsel since seven o'clock in the morning. 
There had been no time to eat; it was hard work to get to 
the stranded ship; still harder to bring the poor sailors 
from the midst of the breakers; but it had been accom- 
plished; they were all rescued, all eight of them. He had 
to put them ashore at Griinwald, which, too, was a difl&cult 
feat, and detained him long; but nothing else was to be 
done, as the poor sailors, who had hung in the rigging 
all night, were in a wretched condition; but they would 
survive. 

Intoxicated as by the blissful fragrance of a marvelous, 
beautiful flower which they had plucked from the edge of 
an abyss, they only now noticed that Aunt Valerie had 
left them. Else, who kept no secret from her Eeinhold, 
told him in hasty words what was the matter with the most 
miserable woman, and how they must now not lose a 
moment in taking the bad road homeward. 

"Not a moment!" exclaimed Eeinhold, rising from the 
table; "I shall make the necessary arrangements at once." 

"It is already arranged," said Valerie, who had over- 



STORM FLOOD 173 

heard the last words as she entered; "the carriage is at 
the door. ' ' 

The happy lovers had not heard the noise of wheels in 
the deep sand, nor had they heard the hoofs of the horse 
of the rider whom Aunt Valerie had seen through the win- 
dow, and whose message she had gone out of the room to 
receive. 

He was there; he had commanded her to come!— She 
knew it, before she opened the letter which Francois 
handed her. She read the letter in the little room to the 
left, standing at the open window, while Frangois stood 
outside, and then in the inclosure, and she had laughed 
aloud as she read it, and torn the sheet to pieces and hurled 
them out of the window into the storm, which carried them 
away in an instant. 

"Madame laughs," Frangois had said — ^in French, as 
usual when he wanted to speak emphatically. — "But I as- 
sure Madame that it is not a laughing matter, and that if 
Madame is not at the castle by six o'clock it will be a 
great misfortune. ' ' 

"I shall come." 

Frangois bowed, mounted his horse again — ^he still held 
his bridle in his hand — and, giving his horse the spurs and 
bowing almost to the saddle, hurried away to the breath- 
less astonishment of the children of the pilots, who had 
been attracted by the unusual spectacle of a horseman — 
while Valerie asked Mrs. Rickmann to have the carriage 
brought from the stable of the chief pUot in the village, 
and then — ^with heavy heart — ^went to separate the happy 
lovers. But she decided upon the last meeting with the 
detestable despised man, only because of those she loved 
and for whom she wished to save, in the impending catas- 
trophe, what remained to be saved ! It would not be much 
— she knew his avarice full well — ^but yet perhaps enough 
to secure the future for Else and free poor Ottomar from 
his embarrassments. And she smiled as she thought that 



174 THE GEEMAN CLASSICS 

even Else could believe that all this was for her sake, for 
her future ! — Great God ! 

Else was ready at once, and Eeinhold did not try to 
detain her with a word or a look. He would have been so 
glad to accompany them, but that was not to be thought 
of. He could not now leave his post an hour ; duty might 
call him any moment! 

And Else hadn't her wrap on when a pilot came in, 
bringing news of a boat which had gone out at two o'clock 
to a steamer signaled from Wissow Hook and flying the 
signals of distress. They were launched in ten minutes, 
and in half an hour were past the Hook, but they hadn't 
found the steamer, which had reached the open sea around 
Golmberg, as they had seen after passing there on their 
return — it was half -past four; they had been terrified at 
the surf, which had risen along the dunes between the Hook 
and Golmberg, and held to as long as possible to ascertain 
whether the sea had broken through as Eeinhold had pre- 
dicted. They were not able to determine that at first 
because of the heavy surf; but as they came nearer, in 
order to be sure about it, Ciaus Lachmund first, and then 
the others, saw two persons on the White Dune, one ap- 
parently a woman, who did not stir, the other a man who 
made a sign. But, in spite of all efforts, they had not 
been able to get over there — indeed they were lucky to get 
afloat again after sailing so close to the White Dune — 
and had then seen that the breach had been made by the 
sea — certainly to the north and south of the White Dune, 
and possibly at other places — ^for they had seen nothing 
but water landward — how far they could not say — the 
fog was too dense. Jt must be bad in Ahlbeck, too; but 
they did not approach nearer, because those there, with the 
Hook near by, could not be in peril; but the situation 
of the two on the White Dune would be very serious if 
they were not rescued before night. 

"Who can the unfortunate ones be?" asked Valerie. 



STOEM FLOOD 175 

"Shipwrecked sailors, Madame — ^who else!" replied 
Eeinhold. 

' ' Farewell, my Eeinhold, ' ' said Else ; and then with her 
arms around his neck, half laughing, half crying — "Take 
six men again who know their business!" 

"And promise me," said Eeinhold, "that the carriage 
shall not go down from the village to the castle unless you 
can see the road clearly through the hollow when you are 
on the height ! ' ' 

The ladies had gone; Eeinhold prepared for his second 
trip. It was not really his duty — any more than it had 
been in the morning; but none of the sailors — even the 
best of them — quite understood how to manage the new 
life-boat. 

The two people on the Dune — ^he did not wish to tell 
Else about it — ^were certainly not shipwrecked, because a 
ship, if stranded, would have long since been signaled from 
the Hook. They cotild hardly be from Politz's house, al- 
though that was nearby, because Mrs. Eickmann had told 
him, when he went to change his clothes, that Politz had 
sent back word by the messenger that he was dispatching 
little Ernst and the men with the stock to Warnow; that 
he himself could not leave, nor could Marie, and least of 
all his wife, who during the night had given birth to a 
boy; and that it probably wouldn't be very bad, after all. 

But now it had become serious, very serious ; and even 
though the chief pilot, Bonsak, might have exaggerated a 
little, as he sometimes did on such occasions, in any case, 
there was peril — ^peril for the poor Politz family, whom 
the most sacred duties confined to the house ; greater peril 
for the two of whom he knew nothing except that they 
were people who must be lost unless he rescued them. 

In the great bar-room of the inn at Warnow, filled with 
the smoke of bad tobacco and the foul odor of spilt beer 
and brandy, were the boisterous carters who had come that 
morning, and a few cattle traders who had joined them in 



176 THE GEEMAN CLASSICS 

the course of the afternoon, and who were now bent upon 
remaining. The innkeeper stood near them, trimming the 
tallow candles, and was talking more boisterously than his 
guests, for he must know better than anybody else whether 
a railroad direct from Golm past Wissow Hook to Ahlbeck, 
rather than by way of Warnow, was nonsense or not. 
And the Count, who had ridden out himself in the after- 
noon, would open his eyes when he saw the fine kettle of 
fish ; but if one is determined not to hear, he must learn to 
feel. In Ahlbeck there is said to be a horrible state of 
things, and murder and slaughter, too ; that didn't matter to 
the Ahlbeckers; they had lately put on airs enough with 
their shore railroad station, naval post. Now they would 
have to creep back into their hole again! 

The innkeeper spoke so loud and heatedly that he did 
not see his wife come in and take the keys of the guest- 
chamber from the board by the door, while the maid took 
the two brass candle-sticks out of the wall cupboard, put 
two candles in them, lighted them, and followed her mis- 
tress. He did not turn around until some one tapped him 
on the shoulder and asked him where he should put his 
horses ; the servant had said there was no more room. 

"And there isn't any," said the innkeeper. "Where did 
you come from?" 

"From Neuenfahr; the guests whom I brought are al- 
ready upstairs." 

"Who are the guests?" asked the innkeeper. 

"Don't know. A young gentleman and a lady — ^persons 
of quality I think. I couldn't drive fast enough for them; 
how is one to drive fast in such weather, step by step, two 
mares or one^ — ^it didn't matter? A one-horse rig that 
came up behind me could have passed me very easily; it 
must have been somebody from Warnow; he turned off to 
the right before reaching the village." 

"Jochen Katzenow was in Neuenfahr this morning," 
said the innkeeper; "he has a devil of a mare! Now come 
along; we will see; don't believe it is possible." 



STORM FLOOD 177 

The man from Neuenfahr followed the innkeeper into 
the court, where they met the gentleman whom he had 
brought. The gentleman took the innkeeper aside and 
spoke to him in a low tone. 

"That may take some time," thought the man from 
Neuenfahr. He went out of the door, unhitched his horses 
from the carriage, led them under the protecting roof of 
a shed, where they were protected from the worst of the 
storm, and left the carriage, a light, open Holsteiner, stand- 
ing outside. 

He had just thrown the blankets over the steaming 
horses, when the gentleman stepped out of the house and 
came up to him. 

"It is possible that I shall not remain here long," said 
the gentleman; "perhaps only an hour. We shall then 
go on." 

"Whither, sir?" 

"To Prora, or back to Neuenfahr; I don't know yet." 

' ' That isn't possible, sir ! ' ' 

"Why not?" 

"The horses cannot stand it." 

"I know better what horses can stand; I shall tell you 
later." 

The man from Neuenfahr was vexed at the domineering 
tone in which the gentleman spoke to him, but did not reply. 
The gentleman, who now had on a great-coat with white 
buttons — on the way he had worn an overcoat — rolled up 
his collar as he now went around the shed toward the street. 
The light from the bar-room shone brightly upon his 
figure. 

"Aha!" cried the man from Neuenfahr; "I thought so! 
One gets to be a bully when he has been in the Reserves a 
while. Let the devil drive the Lieutenant's carriage." 

Ottomar had obtained exact information from the inn- 
keeper; the road which led directly through the vUlage 
was not to be mistaken. He walked slowly and stopped 
repeatedly — a few times because the storm which was 

vol.. XI — 12 



178 THE GEEMAN CLASSICS 

blowing directly in his face prevented him from proceed- 
ing, and again because he had to ask himself what busi- 
ness he had in the castle. His brain was so dazed by the 
long journey in the open carriage through the dreadful 
storm, and then his heart was so disturbed; it seemed to 
him as if he no longer had the strength to call him a rascal 
to his face. And then — ^it had to be, must be, in the pres- 
ence of his aunt, if the wretched man was not afterward 
to deny everything and entangle his aunt further in his 
web of lies, as he had entangled them all. Or was this all 
a preconcerted game between him and his aunt? It was, 
indeed, very suspicious that she had left the castle this 
very day so early to call the rascal to account, when they 
were expecting him to come. With Else, to be sure. But 
could not the love which she seemed to cherish for Else 
secretly — as everything was done in secret — could it not 
also be love after Giraldi's prescription; the aunt had 
undertaken to entice and deceive Else, just as Griraldi had 
deceived him. And they had both gone into the net, and 
the sly bird-catchers were laughing at the stupids. Poor 
Else — ^who must certainly have depended upon the fair 
promises, and must now contrive how she could get along 
as the wife of a pilot commander with a few hundred 
thalers, over there somewhere in that wretched fishing 
hamlet I That was not the cradle-song to which she lis- 
tened ! — These — that was to be our inheritance — the castle 
by the sea, as we called it, when we described our future 
to each other. We would occupy it together — ^you one 
wing, I the other; and, when you married the prince and 
I the princess, we would draw lots to see who should have 
it all — ^we couldn't both occupy it longer, because of the 
great retinue. And now, dearest, best of maidens, you are 
so far from me, awaiting your lover, who, perchance, has 
gone out into the storm to rescue the precious lives of a 

few herring fishermen, and I 

He sat down upon a rock where the road, passing by the 
first houses of the village, descended into a narrow ravine, 



STOEM FLOOD 179 

and then rose again through the depression to the castle. 
The rock on which he sat was on the extreme edge of the 
ravine, above the depression. It was held firm in its socket 
by the roots of a fine stately fir-tree, which must once have 
stood further back from the edge and now bent backward, 
groaning and creaking under the force of the storm, as if it 
would avoid falling into the abyss. 

"There is no help for either of us," said Ottomar. — "It 
has gradually crumbled away, and we stand like trees with 
their roots in the air. The rock which would gladly have 
held us cannot do so. On the contrary-^one more heavy 
storm like this, and we shall both be lying down below! 
I wish to Heaven we were lying there, and that you had 
broken my skull in falling, and that the flood had come 
and washed us out to sea, and no one knew what had become 
of us!" 

And she — she, whom he had just left in the wretched, 
squalid room of the inn, whose kisses he still felt on his 
lips, and who, as he went out of the room — she thought 
surely he would not see it — threw herself upon the sofa, 
buried her face in her hands, weeping! About what? 
About her wretched lot, which bound her to one who was 
weaker than she. She had the power; she would hold out 
through it come what might, but what could come for her? 
She had told him a hundred times on the way that he 
should not worry about the wretched money, that her father 
was much too proud to deny her request, the first that she 
had made of him so far as she could remember, the last 
that she should ever make of him. 

And thus she had written to her father from Neuenfahr, 
where they had to wait half an hour for the carriage. 
"The matter is all settled," she said, brushing the hair 
from his brow as a mother from her son who had played 
pranks while in school. 

She was stronger; but what did she lose? Her father? 
^-She appeared never to have truly loved him! Her 
pleasant life in the beautiful luxurious house? — What does 



180 THE GERMAN CLASSICS 

a girl know what and how much belongs to life? Her art? 
— She took that everywhere with her ; she had said with a 
smile — It is enough for both of us. Of course, she would 
now have to support him, the dismissed lieutenant! 

The fir-tree against which he was leaning creaked and 
groaned like a tortured beast; Ottomar saw how the roots 
rose and strained, and the marl wore away the steep slope, 
while the wind whistled and howled through the cracked 
branches, like shot and bullets, and a roll of thunder came 
from the sea as from a ceaseless volley of batteries. 

"I had it so easy then!" mused Ottomar. "My father 
would have paid the few debts I had and would have been 
proud of me, instead of now sending me a pistol, as if I 
didn't know as well as he that it is all over with Ottomar 
von Werben ; and Else had spoken often and fondly of her 
brother, who fell at Vionville. Dear Else, how I should 
like to see her once more!" 

He had heard from the innkeeper that the carriage with 
the ladies must pass here, along the only still passable 
road, if they came back in the evening as the coachman 
had said they would; the shorter way down through the 
lowlands was no longer intact. Ottomar wondered what 
the man could have meant by the lowlands. The situation 
was so entirely different, as he knew it, from the descrip- 
tion; the sea appeared to break immediately behind the 
castle, even though he could no longer distinguish partic- 
ular objects in the wet gray mist which beat upon him. 
The castle itself, which certainly lay close below him. 
seemed to be a quarter of an hour distant ; he would hardly 
have seen it at times if lights had not continually flickered 
from the windows. Also among the indistinguishable mass 
of buildings to the left of the castle, which were probably 
in the court, lights flashed up occasionally, changing their 
position as when men run to and fro with lanterns. A few 
times it seemed to him as if he heard human cries and the 
lowing of cattle. It might all be a delusion of the senses, 
which began to fail the longer he sat unprotected in the 



STORM FLOOD 181 

raging storm that froze the marrow in his bones. He must 
be off if he would not perish here like a highwayman by 
the roadside ! 

And yet he remained; but the visions passed in greater 
confusion through his benumbed brain. There was a 
Christmas tree with glittering candles, and he and Else 
went in at the door hand in hand, and his father and mother 
stood at the table upon which were dolls for Else, and 
helmet and sabre and cartridge-boxes for him; and he 
rushed with joy into the arms of his father, who lifted him 
up and kissed him. Then the Christmas tree became a tall 
fir, and its crown a gleaming candelabrum beneath which 
he danced with Carla, scorning the Count, who looked on 
with anger, while the 'cello hummed and the violins played, 
and the couples whirled in and out — Tettritz with Amelia 
von Fischbach, tall Wartenberg -with little Miss von Strum- 
min ; and then followed the bivouac fires, and the trumpets 
of Vionville, which sounded the assault upon the batteries 
thundering a reply, and he called to Tettritz and Warten- 
berg, laughing — "Now, gentlemen, the bullet through the 
breast or the cross upon the breast!" and gave his steed the 
spurs ; the horse reared in his onset with wild neighing. 

Ottomar started up and looked, dazed, about him. Where 
was he? At his feet roared and hissed a wide whirling 
stream; and now he heard a neighing quite clearly, very 
close to him — in the deep road on the edge of which he 
stood, a carriage, pushed backward against the side of the 
road by backing horses. With one leap he was in the rear 
of the carriage and at the coachman's side, up to the snort- 
ing horses, to help the man turn them about, there was just 
room. 

"Where are the ladies?" 

He saw that the carriage was empty. 

"They got out — up above — ^were in such a hurry — over 
the path in the lowlands, toward the park — Good Heavens ! 
Good Heavens ! If only they got over ! Good Lord ! " A 
wave of the stream which had broken through between the 



182 THE GEEMAN CLASSICS 

hills and the castle, and into which the coachman had 
almost driven, broke into the deep road and leaped up 
under the feet of the horses, which would no longer stand 
still, and dashed up the road, with the coachman, who had 
fortunately caught the lines and was trying to stop the 
animals, at their side. 

Ottomar had only understood this much from the coach- 
man's words, which the storm had drowned for the most 
part, that Else was in dire peril. What sort of a path 
was it? Where was the path? 

He ran after the coachman, calling and shouting. The 
man did not hear. 

[Else and Valerie return from Wissow Hook and reach 
the terrace of Golmberg. Giraldi, who has wandered out 
to look for them, seizes Valerie by the hand and rescues 
her, leaving Else on the terrace at the mercy of the storm.] 

Ferdinande sprang up as Ottomar 's step was heard 
across the hall down the creaking stair, and paced to and 
fro in the little room a few times, wringing her hands; 
then she threw herself upon the sofa again, when she finally 
saw Ottomar, resting her head in her hands on the arm 
of the sofa. But she had not been weeping, and she was not 
weeping now; she had no tears. She no longer had any 
hope, any wish but to be allowed to die for him, as she 
could not live for him, and as her life would be another 
burden, another torture, for him. 

If she had only believed the oflScer with the smooth brow 
and the wide sympathetic eyes, when he said: "You deceive 
yourself, young lady; your flight with Ottomar is not a 
solution, it is only another complication, and the worst one 
of all! The difiSculty for Ottomdr lies in his wretchedly 
compromised honor as an oflBcer. The appearance of things 
here at least, must be saved, and that is in accordance with 
the preliminaries which I have arranged. His life will 
be at the best a life in death, and I don't know whether he 
will be able to endure it; indeed, I doubt it; but in cases 



STOEM FLOOD 183 

like this it is permissible to silence one 's better convictions. 
But there is no doubt that, if you fly with him now and the 
affair becomes known, as it must, for us his friends there 
remains no possibility of saving appearances. An ofiScer 
who must resign his position because of debts, whose en- 
gagement is annulled in consequence, who, in this critical 
predicament, gives up also the right to call to account slan- 
derers and tale-bearers — that can happen, unfortunately 
happens only too often. But thus — ^pardon the expression 
— free course is given to scandal. The man who, in such 
a moment, can think of anything but saving from ship- 
wreck as much of his honor as he can, or, if nothing more 
is left to be saved, does not at least resign with dignity, 
perhaps — ^perhaps even to give up his life — ^who, instead of 
this, involves another being in this shipwreck, whom he de- 
clares he loves — an innocent girl, a respectable lady — that 
man has lost all claim to interest or sympathy. Ottomar 
himself must see that sooner or later. This journey of his 
to Warnow has, to my mind, absolutely no point. What 
will he do there? Call Giraldi to account? The Italian 
will answer him: You are not a child; you were not a 
child ; you must have known what you were doing. — Chal- 
lenge the Count? For what, when he accompanies you? 
Well, let him go ; but alone — not with you ! I entreat you, 
not with you! Believe me! — ^Love in whose omnipotence 
you so firmly believe, which is to help Ottomar over all 
difficulties as with a divine hand — it will prove itself abso- 
lutely impotent — yes, worse than that; it will completely 
shatter the little strength that Ottomar might have sum- 
moned. For his sake — ^if you will not think of yourself — 
do not go with him!" 

Strange ! While he was speaking to her with hurried yet 
clear words — drawing her aside even in the last moment 
while Ottomar and Bertalde were arranging a few things 
in the next room — it all passed over her like an empty 
sound — she scarcely knew what he was talking about. And 



184 THE GEEMAN CLASSICS 

now it all came back to her mind — ^word for word — ^it had 
all been fulfilled — ^word for word ! 

All-powerful Love ! Great Heavens ! It was a mockery ! 
What else had he for the visions of the future, which she 
had painted to him in glowing terms fresh from her over- 
flowing breast, than a melancholy, dismal smile, dispirited 
monosyllabic replies, which he only made in order to say 
something while his heart was weighed down by the thought 
of his angry father, his sympathetic or scoffing comrades, 
or the question whether he would be able after all to force 
von Wallbach to fight a duel. His caresses even, when she 
held him in her arms with her heart full of untold anxiety, 
as a mother who rescued her child from the flames — she 
shuddered when she thought of them : as if she were a girl 
in love whom one must humor — a mistress whom one takes 
along on a journey and whom one must not allow to feel 
that she is a burden at the first station. 

She, she — who once had dreamed that her love was an 
inexhaustible fount, and had reproached herself for having 
been so niggardly with it, for having turned her lover from 
her door, for having left him out in the dreary waste of 
life, where he must perish in anguish and despair! She, 
who was so haughty because she knew that she had all the 
world to give ; that her love was like the storm which surges 
on, overriding everything that is not stronger than itself 
— ^like a flood which rolls on, destroying everything that 
does not rise into the clouds. 

That had been her fear all along; he too — even he would 
not understand her entirely; there would be a yawning 
breach between her ideal and the reality, and she must not 
on that account sacrifice her ideal, even though her heart 
throbbed with even greater longing and the blood coursed 
through her veins even more imperiously. She had only 
this one greatest thing to lose in order to be poorer when 
it was lost than the poorest beggar — she whose implacable 
mind destroyed once and forever the fair dream of many 
years of being a true artist ! 



STOEM FLOOD 185 

How she had fought! How she had struggled through 
so many dreary days, so many wakeful nights, in gloomy 
brooding and racking despair to the horror of which, strong 
though she was, she would long ago have succumbed, had 
not his dear illusive image flitted through her morning 
dreams, luring her on to other dreary days, to other nights 
of torture. 

Now it was no longer his image; it was he himself — 
illusive no longer, and yet still dear ! Oh, how deeply she 
had loved — ^more than ever, infinitely more in his helpless 
misery, than in the days of his prosperity! 

If she could help him ! For herself she had no wish, no 
longer any desire. God was her witness ! And if she rested 
tonight in his arms, he in hers — she could think of it with- 
out feeling her pulses quicken, and without feeling that the 
despair which depressed her heart had vanished even for a 
moment. He will not draw any new strength or fresh 
courage from your embraces, your kisses, she said to her- 
self. He will arise from the couch of love — a broken man, 
weary of life. How should she keep her strength and 
courage to live — no longer for herself alone — now for both 
of them? If not strength and courage to live — then to die! 

If she could die for him! Dying for him could say: 
"Behold, death is a joy and a feast for me if I may hope 
that you will despise life from this moment on, and, because 
you despise it, will live nobly and well, as one who lives 
only to die nobly and well ! ' ' But for his weak soul even 
that would be no spur, no support — only one dark shadow 
more to add to the other dark shadows which had fallen 
upon his path; and he would continue to waver upon the 
steady path, inactive, inglorious, to an early inglorious 
grave ! 



Thus she lay there, deep in the abyss of her woe, not 
regarding the howling of the storm which shook the house 
continually from garret to cellar, not hearing the boister- 
ous tumult of the drunken guests directly below her room, 



186 THE GERMAN CLASSICS 

scarcely raising her head when the innkeeper's wife came 
into the room. 

The latter had intended to ask the young lady, as the 
guests would now certainly remain for the night, how she 
wished to have the beds arranged in the room; but, at the 
strange expression of the beautiful pale face which rose 
from the arm of the sofa and gazed at her with strange 
looks, the question had died on her lips and she had only 
asked the other question — if she might not make the young 
lady a cup of tea. The young lady had not appeared to 
understand her; at least she made no reply, and the inn- 
keeper's wife thought: She will doubtless ring if she 
wishes anything. So she went with the light in her hand 
into the adjoining room, and left the door, which was hard 
to close, slightly ajar, in order not to disturb the young 
lady further, and then turned with her candle to the win- 
dows to see if they were closed ; the upper bolt had stuck, 
and as she loosened the lower one, the storm, coming 
through the narrow opening, blew out the candle which 
she had placed upon the window-sill. 

' ' I can find my way, ' ' the landlady murmured, and turned 
toward the beds in the dusk, but stopped as she heard the 
door adjoining open and the young lady utter a slight 
scream. ' ' Good Heavens ! ' ' thought she, ' ' people of quality 
are almost worse oif than we are ' ' — for the gentleman who 
had returned had begun at once to speak in a tone not 
exactly loud, but evidently excited. What could be the 
trouble between the two young people? thought she, slip- 
ping on tip-toe to the door. But she could not understand 
anything of all the gentleman was saying, nor the few 
words which the liady interjected; and then it seemed to 
the landlady as if it was not the clear voice of the gentle- 
man and as if the two were not speaking German. She 
peeped through the crack and saw, to her astonishment and 
terror, a wild strange man in the room with the young lady, 
from whose shoulders a brown coat fell to the floor as she 
looked in; but he did not pick it up, though continuing to 



STOEM FLOOD 187 

gesticulate and to speak more rapidly and loudly in Ms 
unintelligible gibberish like a crazy man, as the terrified 
landlady thought. 

"I will not go back again!" cried Antonio, "after hav- 
ing run half the way like a dog behind his mistress, whom 
a robber has kidnapped, and ridden the other half cramped 
up in straw in a wagon, like an animal taken to market by 
the butcher. I don't intend to be a dog, worse than a 
beast, any longer, and I will no longer endure it. I now 
know everything, everything, everything! — How he has be- 
trayed you, the infamous coward, to run after another, and 
again from her to you, and has lain before your door whin- 
ing for favor, while those inside have been making a 
match for him. His wench and that infernal Giraldi, whom 
I intend to throttle whenever and wherever I meet him, 
as truly as my name is Antonio Michele! I know every- 
thing, everything, everything — and that you will yield your 
person to him tonight, as you have already yielded your 
soul to him ! ' ' 

The desperate man could not understand the half con- 
temptuous, half melancholy smile which played about the 
proud lips of the beautiful girl. 

"Don't laugh, or I'll kill you!" 

And then as she arose — not from fear, but only to ward 
off the furious man 

* ' Pardon, oh ! pardon me — I kill you, you — ^you, who are 
everything to me, the light and joy of my life, for whom 
I would let myself be torn in pieces, limb by limb ! I will 
give every drop of my heart's blood if you will only let 
me kiss the hem of your garment — ^kiss the ground upon 
which you tread! How often, how often, have I done it 
without your knowing it — ^in your studio — the place where 
your beautiful feet have rested, the implements which your 
hand has touched! And I demand so little! I am willing 
to wait — for years — as I have already waited for years; 
I shall not grow tired of serving you, of worshiping you 



188 THE GEEMAN CLASSICS 

as the Holy Madonna, till the day comes when you will 
hear my prayers. ' ' 

He dropped to his knees where he stood, lifting his wild 
eyes and twitching hands to her. 

"Arise!" she said; "you do not know what you say, and 
do not know to whom you speak. I can give you nothing. 
I have nothing to give ; I am so poor, so poor — ^much poorer 
than you!" 

She went about the room, wringing her hands; passed 
him still kneeling, and, when her garments touched his 
glowing face, he sprang to his feet as though touched by an 
electric current. 

"I am not poor," he cried; "I am the son of a prince — 
I am more than a prince ; I am Michelangelo ! I am more 
than Michelangelo! I see them coming in pilgrim troops, 
singing songs in praise of immortal Antonio, bearing flow- 
ers, waving wreaths to decorate the marvelous works of the 
divine Antonio! Do you hear! Do you hear? There, 
there!" 

Up the broad village street came a confused cry of many 
voices, of people terrified by the news of the flood, which 
had broken through the dikes, and running down to the 
scene of the disaster. From the tower of the church near- 
by the tones of the bell resounded, now threateningly near, 
now quavering in the distance, as the storm surged to 
and fro. 

"Do you hear?" cried the madman — "Do you hear?" 

He stood with outstretched arms, smiling with his dazed 
eyes fixed as in blissful triumph on Ferdinande, who gazed 
at him with horror. Suddenly the smile changed to a ter- 
rible grimace ; his eyes sparkled with deadly hate, his out- 
stretched arm drew back abruptly, his hand clutched his 
breast, as now, directly under the window, a voice in com- 
manding tone sounded clear above the cries of the multi- 
tude, through the raging storm— "A rope^ — a strong rope, 
the strongest rope you have, and small cords, as many as 
possible. — There are some below already ! I shall be down 



STORM FLOOD 189 

there before you are!" A hasty step, then three or four 
steps at a time, came up the stairs. The madman laughed 
aloud. 

The landlady likewise had heard the clear voice below, 
and the hastening step upon the stair. There would be 
trouble if the young gentleman should come in while the 
strange, uncanny man was with the young lady. She 
rushed into the room at the moment when the gentleman 
from the other side threw open the door. 

Uttering a cry of rage, with lifted stiletto Antonio rushed 
toward him — but Ferdinande threw herself between them, 
before Ottomar could pass the threshold, covering her lover 
with her outstretched arms, offering her own breast to the 
impending blow, collapsing without a sound of complaint in 
Ottomar 's arms, while the murderer, the assassin, at the 
sight of the deed which he had not intended, and which, like 
a gleaming flash of lightning, rent the darkness of his in- 
sanity, rushed past them in cowardly, confused flight, down 
the stairs, through the midst of the multitude, which the 
tolling of the storm-bell and the cries of those passing by 
had frightened from the bar-room and the houses and 
which shrank back in terror at the strange man with his 
black hair waving in the wind and a bloody dagger in his 
hand — up the village street, running, crying, screaming, 
over everything that came in his way, into the howling 
darkness. 

And — ' ' Murder ! Murder ! Seize him ! Stop him ! Stop 
the murderer ! ' ' they shouted from the house. 

[The driver from Neuenfahr is trying to find stable room 
for his horses in Warnow. A man in great haste rushes 
up to him and asks to be driven to Neuenfahr, offering 
whatever he may ask, while the mob clamors for the mur- 
derer of Ferdinande. The driver starts in the face of the 
flood and the storm. He is terrified and wishes to turn 
back. The passenger offers him five thalers, twenty thal- 
ers, a hundred thalers — anything — and tells him to drive 



190 THE GERMAN CLASSICS 

on — anywhere to get away from the place. The driver 
wonders who the raving man can be — a tramp? The mur- 
derer of Ferdinande, or the devil? The horses plunge on 
through the flood; the driver curses, and then prays. In- 
stead of one passenger there are now two, grappling like 
fiends at each other's throats. The horses are swimming. 
The driver unhitches them, mounts one of them, and leaves 
his uncanny passengers to perish in the flood, reaching at 
last the little village of Faschwitz.] 

"That won't do," cried the Burgess. "Take it in 
again!" "Ho! Ho, heave ho!" cried the thirty who held 
the cable — "Ho, heave ho!" 

In their haste they had constructed a kind of raft by tying 
together a few boards and doors from the nearest houses, 
and had now tentatively let it into the stream. The flood 
carried it away instantly and turned it upon end ! the thirty 
had all they could do to get it back on shore again. 

For the brow of the hill had become a shore by the 
stream which in its fury had dashed over it! And upon 
the brow of the hill half the village had assembled, and 
people still came running in breathless haste. The village 
was in no danger; the nearest houses were ten to fifteen 
feet above water; it did not seem possible that the water 
could rise much more, especially as it had dropped a foot 
during the last few minutes. The storm had gone some- 
what to the north; the inrushing flood must flow in the 
direction of the Hook. It had also grown a little brighter, 
although the storm still raged on with unabating force. 
Those who had arrived first did not need to show the others 
coming up the scene of the calamity; every one could 
discern the white terrace over there and the female figures 
in black — at one time two, and now again only one, as be- 
fore, who continually signaled with a handkerchief, and sat 
crouching in a corner as if she had given up hope and 
expected and awaited her fate. 

And yet it appeared as if the rescue must be aocom- 



STORM FLOOD 191 

plished. The space was so narrow; one could throw a 
stone across. The best throwers had tried it, foolishly — 
with a thin cord attached to a stone ; but the stone did not 
go ten feet, and blew away with the line like a spider-web. 
And now the huge wave rolled on into the park, dashing 
over the terrace, spending its force in the stream, in spite 
of the fact that it had washed up to the edge of the shore. 
The women cried aloud ; the men looked at one another with 
serious, troubled expressions. 

"Nothing can be done, children," said the Burgess; "be- 
fore we can bring the raft around, the building over there 
will be broken to pieces. One more such wave, and it will 
break into a thousand bits — 1 know it will ; the pillars are 
not six inches thick, and the wood is worm-eaten. ' ' 

"And if we can get the raft over and move up toward it, 
we shall break it in two and upset ourselves, ' ' said Jochen 
Becker, the smith. 

"There are ten lying in the water instead of two!" ex- 
claimed Carl Peters, the'carpenter.- 

"That doesn't help any," said the Burgess; "we can't 
let them drown before our very eyes. We will try to get 
twenty feet further up with the raft, and put the people 
right on it; I'll go along myself. Take hold, children, take 
hold!" 

"Ho, heave ho! Ho, heave ho!" 

A hundred hands were ready to draw the raft up stream, 
but thirty paces would not accomplish it; it must be twice 
that far. The half hundred brave men had been found 
ready to make the attempt; the Burgess would stay by — 
who else should command them that held the rope? — That 
was the important thing! 

They stood on the raft with long poles. 

"Ready!" 

The raft shot from the shore into the stream like an 
arrow. 

"Hurrah!" cried those on the shore. They thought they 
had reached the goal; they were already afraid that the 



192 THE GERMAN CLASSICS 

raft would drive over into the park and upset against the 
trees. But it did not go any farther — ^not a foot; it danced 
upon the stream so that the six on the raft had to throw 
themselves flat and hold fast, and so go down the stream 
again, like an arrow, toward the shore on this side to the 
place where they were before. Only with the greatest exer- 
tion were the fifty able to hold it; only with the greatest 
difficulty and evident peril had the six come down again 
from the raft to the steep shore. 

"That won't do, children," said the Burgess. "If only 
the Lieutenant would come back — they are his near kins- 
men! First he chases us down here, and now he won't 
come himself." 

The faint brightness which had appeared when the foam- 
ing spray had withdrawn a little had again vanished. 
While hitherto only the leaden gray sky and the dense 
storm had turned the evening into night, the real night 
now came on. Only the sharpest eyes could still see the 
black form on the terrace, though the terrace itself could 
still be descried by every one, and at the same time the 
wind was evidently growing worse and had shifted again 
from northeast to southeast. The water was rising fast 
in consequence of the counter-current setting in the direc- 
tion of Wissow Hook. That would have aided them as the 
smftness of the current diminished ; but no one any longer 
had the courage to renew the hopeless attempt. If there 
were no way of getting a rope over and fastening it there, 
so that some of them could slip over the swaying bridge 
from here to the terrace, no rescue was possible. 

So the Burgess thought, so thought the others, and so 
they shouted it into one another's ears; but in the dreadful 
tumult no one could understand a word that was said. 

Suddenly Ottomar stood in their midst. He had taken in 
the whole situation at a glance. — "Give me the line," he 
cried, "and make a light! — The willows there!" 

They understood him instantly. — The four old, hollow 
willows, right there on the edge — they were to set fire to 



STOEM FLOOD 193 

theml The village would be in danger, to be sure, if it 
could be done ; but none thought of that. They hurried to 
the nearest houses, they brought back pieces of oakum and 
resinous wood by the armful and stuffed it all into the hol- 
low trunks, which fortunately were turned toward the west. 
A few fruitless attempts — and then it flamed up — spar- 
kling, flashing — ^now flaring and again subsiding — casting 
strange, shifting lights upon the hundreds of pale faces 
which were all directed toward the • man with the line 
around his breast, struggling against the stream. — ^Would 
he hold out? 

More than one pair of callous hands were clasped in 
prayer; women were on their knees, sobbing, moaning, 
pressing their nails into the flesh, tearing their hair, 
screaming as if mad, when another dreadful wave rolled 
up and on over him, and he vanished in the swell. — But 
there he was again ! .It had cast him back half the distance 
he had traversed; but a minute later he had retrieved the 
lost ground. He had been driven quite a distance down 
stream, but had chosen well his starting point; the terrace 
was still far below him. It seemed a miracle that he came 
through the stream! 

And now he was in the middle of it! It was the worst 
place — they knew it from their previous experience! 
He seemed not to advance, but, instead, gradually to lose 
headway. — But the terrace was still below him ; if he over- 
came the middle of the current, he could, he must succeed ! 
— And now he was gaining ground perceptibly — nearer and 
nearer, foot by foot — in a diagonal curved line toward the 
terrace ! — 

Eough, quarrelsome fellows who had been enemies all 
their lives, had clasped hands ; women fell sighing into each 
other's arms. A gentleman with short gray hair and heavy 
gray mustache, who had just run up from the village, tak- 
ing his stand close by the burning willows, almost enveloped 
by their flames, had followed the swimmer with steady gaze 

and with fervent prayers and promises — that everything, 
Vol. XI— 13 



194 THE GEEMAN CLASSICS 

everything, should be forgiven and forgotten, if only he 
should have him back again, his dear, heroic son ! — He now 
cried out aloud — a terrible cry which the storm carried 
away and hurled down upon the shore where the men were 
standing who held the line, shouting to them to pull back — 
back — ^back ! — It was too late ! 

Then down came the mighty fir-tree, at the foot of which 
the swimmer had sat an hour before — torn loose by the 
storm, hurled into the flood, rolling on in the whirlpool of 
the stream, like a giant emerging from the deep, now turn- 
ing up its mighty roots which still held the rock in their 
grasp, and now the top; now rising erect as it had once 
stood in the light of the sun, and in the next moment crash- 
ing down upon the swimmer — then plunging with its top 
into the foaming currents and turning its roots upward 
as it hurried out of the light into the darker night. 

They drew him back, as, strangely enough, the thin line 
had not broken — a dead man, at whose side, as he lay 
stretched out upon the shore (he Jiad only a wide, gaping 
wound above his brow, like one who had died an honorable 
cavalryman's death) the old man with the gray mustache 
knelt down, kissed him upon the beautiful, pale lips, and 
then rose up. — "Now give me the line! It was my son! 
And over there is my daughter ! ' ' 

It seemed madness ! The young man — they had seen how 
he struggled! — But the old man! — Though he was old, he 
was nevertheless a large man, with broad high chest. He 
threw off his coat and vest. 

"If you find, General, that you cannot hold out, give us 
the sign at the right time," said the Burgess. 

And now something like a miracle appeared to those 
who, in this short hour, had passed through such strange, 
horrible, fearful experiences! 

The willow torches, which were all blazing at once from 
the roots to the spreading branches, cast a brightness 
almost like that of day upon the shore, upon the multitude, 
the stream, the terrace beyond — far into the flooded park, 



STOEM FLOOD 195 

up to the castle, the windows of which here and there 
flashed red in the reflection of the fire. 

In this light, along the narrow stream, upon the bottom 
of which the village children had formerly played, rolling 
like balls from the edge of the slope to the bottom — along 
this foaming water-course down which the spreading fir- 
tree was still tossing like a monster of the sea, seizing its 
prey with a hundred arms, sped a slender beautiful boat, 
which had disembarked a strange cargo at the rear land- 
ing-place of the castle, as at a dock. There they had heard 
how matters stood, and the man at the helm had said: 
"Children, it is my betrothed!" And the six with him 
had cried : ' ' Hurrah for the Commander ! ' ' and * ' Hurrah 
for his betrothed!" So they now shot past with lowered 
mast, while the six seamen held the oars in place as in a 
flag-boat which brings an admiral to shore. And the flag 
fluttered behind the man at the helm, as with the gentle 
pressure of his strong h^nd he steered the obedient craft 
through the mighty swejls to the point which his clear 
unfailing eyes kept in view, as an eagle does his prey, 
although his courageous heart was beating furiously in his 
breast. 

And they shot past — on, past the multitude, which gazed 
breathlessly at the miracle, on, by the terrace — ^but only a 
short distance; for the man at the helm brought the boat 
about like an eagle in its flight, and the six seamen dipped 
their oars all at one stroke — and then — Hurrah ! Hurrah ! 
Hurrah ! — the oars shot up again, and the boat lay along- 
side the terrace, over which and the boat a gigantic wave 
rolled its foaming comb toward the shore, and there, sub- 
siding, dashed the foam into the burning trees, enveloping 
the breathless observers on the shore in a cloud of spray; 
and, as the cloud dissipated, they saw, in the dim light of 
the extinguished fire, no longer the terrace — and the boat 
only as it were a shadow, which disappeared to the right 
in the darkness. 

Then they breathed freely again, as from a single trou- 



196 THE GERMAN CLASSICS 

bled soul, relieved from its anxiety; and "Hurrah! Hur- 
rah! Hurrah!" was heard as from a single throat, so 
that it sounded above the howling storm. The boat might 
vanish in the dark! But they knew that the man at the 
helm understood his business, and the six at the oars under- 
stood their business, too ; it would come back again, bring- 
ing with it those rescued from the storm and flood ! 

The setting sun was just above the hills. In its magic 
light gleamed the surface of the water which covered the 
great semicircle between Golmberg and Wissow Hook. 
The slanting golden rays sent their blinding light into the 
eyes of Reinhold, who was just steering his boat from the 
sea into the bay, close past the White Dune, upon the steep 
side of which the long inroUing wave was curling, while 
the boat swept past by its broad crest, and the points of 
the imiformly rising and falling oars almost touched the 
edge. The glances of the men who plied the oars were 
directed toward the Dune as they glided on, and the scene 
of rescue on the night of the storm was surely in the minds 
of all ; but not one of them said a word. 

Not because it was against discipline. They knew that 
the Commander allowed a modest word at the right time, 
even when he was, as today, in full uniform, and wore the 
iron cross on his breast; but he had drawn the three-cor- 
nered hat far down over his face, and, if he lifted his eyes 
quickly once more to examine the course, they did not look 
threatening today; they had not yet seen threats in his 
eyes, any more than they had heard harsh words from his 
lips — ^but lips serious and sad. They did not wish to dis- 
turb the Commander in his thoughts — ^more serious and 
sad than the brave men might entertain or could compre- 
hend. What were the two people to them whom they had 
rescued from the peril of death on this Dune, with unspeak- 
able effort and hundredfold mortal peril to each one of 
them — ^what were the few people to them whom they had 
rescued because it was their duty, or the others whom 



STOEM FLOOD 197 

they had already rescued during the day ! How the Count 
and the noble lady got there, what relation the two sus- 
tained to each other— why should they ask about that? 

But he ! 

What a shudder went through him when he found the 
brilliant Carla von Wallbach, whom he had seen dancing 
and coquetting a few days before, under the light of the 
candelabra, through the reception room at Warnow — ^now 
a picture of extreme misery, her clothes drenched with 
water, her delicate limbs trembling from the icy cold, with 
half dazed senses, curled up in a heap scarcely like a human 
form, and bore her to the boat; with horror he recalled 
the moment when he laid her down in the boat — ^how she, 
awaking from her stupor and recognizing him, had cried 
out as if mad, "Save me from him, from himl" — and held 
him, the strange man, anxiously in her grasp, as a child 
its mother, so that he had to release himself by force! 
And when the Count, who was in a scarcely less lamentable 
condition, having been carried by two pilots into the boat 
and placed near Carla, suddenly staggered up again at the 
risk of falling overboard, tottered to the bow of the boat 
and there sat brooding in sullen disdain, disregarding 
everything that went on about him, until they worked their 
way to the Politz premises and made ready to bring the 
wretched people through the window of the garret to which 
they had fled, into the boat — then he sprang up and 
shrieked like a madman that he did not wish to be packed 
in with those people, that he would not have it so ! — And he 
belabored those about him until he was deterred by the 
threat that they would bind him if he did not obey the or- 
ders of the Commander — at which he covered his face with 
his h^ds, and sullenly swallowed his wrath. 

There was the garret, and there was the window opening 
— they had torn out the window and knocked out a piece 
of the wall to make room — and Eeinhold remembered that 
he himself had succeeded in rescuing wretched people from 
this dreadful desolation, that he had been able to carry 



198 THE GEEMAN CLASSICS 

frail human forms through the storm and blackness into 
the safe port of the castle, where all danger was over. 

The passage from the inundated court to the castle lasted 
only a few minutes — the storm had hurled the boat before 
it like a snowflake — ^but those had been the only moments 
when his own heart trembled, not with fear, but with tender 
solicitude. His eyes grew moist as he now recalled it all 
— the mother who lay in the boat with her little one at her 
breast, her head upon the knees of her husband, while poor 
Marie, full of compassion, held the fainting Carla in her 
arms. How must the wretched man in the bow of the boat 
have felt at this sight if he once raised his eyes! The 
raging haste with which he jumped out and rushed away 
when they touched the landing of the castle to conceal him- 
self somewhere in the darkness — ^it was Cain fleeing from 
the dead body of his slain brother. 

And Eeinhold's thoughts grew still more sad. He had 
succeeded in the greatest effort of all; he had been per- 
mitted to rescue his betrothed from certain death — and 
with her the unfortunate woman who loved them both, as 
if they had been her children and whom both loved and 
honored as a mother. It was indeed such a supreme joy 
— and yet, yet ? 

How dearly this joy had been bought ! Was there other 
joy which must be bought just as dearly? Was there every- 
where happiness, with unhappiness so near at hand in its 
pitiless form, like the blue-black shadows yonder between 
the turrets and the battlements of the castle, bordered on 
the brightly illuminated surface ? Did not even the appar- 
ently firmest ground shake, as here the wave undulates 
above the fields through which the ploughman formerly 
drove his plough, over the pasture upon which the shepherd 
formerly drove his flocks ? Did they have to die so young, 
so beautiful, so richly endowed with the most splendid gifts 
and talents? And if they had to die because they could no 
longer live, no longer wished to live, death was for them 
only a release from inevitable destruction. What a ques- 



STOEM FLOOD 199 

tionable good did life appear to be, when with it is born 
the possibility of such a horrible fate? How could the two 
fathers bear it? — With fortitude no doubt — and yet, and 
yet ? 

They had rowed around the castle in the park, and ap- 
proached the shore where the willows had burned that 
night, the charred ends of which still rose from the sands. 
Several larger as well as smaller boats already lay there, 
which had come from Ahlbeck, and even from the distant 
villages along the coast. From every direction — from 
miles around — they had come, for in every quarter the 
tragic story of the youth and maiden who loved each other, 
who both had fled from home and found neither happiness 
nor a happy star, and now had died and were to be buried 
today, had passed from mouth to mouth. 

Eeinhold turned from the shore and went to the village. 
The President had written him that he would arrive at 
Warnow at a certain hour, and wished to speak to him 
before he presented himself to the family. Eeinhold was 
well aware of the punctual habits of the worthy man, and 
had scarcely reached the place in front of the inn, where a 
barricade of vehicles had already assembled, when an 
equipage rolled up from which the President descended, 
and, seeing him, at once came to meet him with out- 
stretched hand. There was something almost paternal in 
the silent greeting, for the President was too much moved 
to venture speech until they had stepped aside a few paces. 
He then began, with a melancholy smile : 

"Prophets to the right, and prophets to the left! Yes, 
yes, my dear young friend ! What would we give, indeed, 
if we had all proved to be false prophets, and our storm 
floods had not come ! But they have come ; yours has sub- 
sided quickly enough, thank God; mine will yet long rage 
on, Heaven pity me ! Would that such brave St. Georges 
might appear in this case, to charge so boldly at the 
body of the dragon, and wrest from him his victims! 
I am proud of you, dear friend; there are not many who 



200 THE GEEMAN CLASSICS 

can truly rejoice in such splendid deeds as you have been 
permitted to perform, with the help of a gracious God. 
To rescue so many lives, even if your betrothed had not 
been among them — how happy you must be! It will not 
add to your joy, I think ; it will not increase the bliss which 
fills your heart; but it is right and proper that such noble, 
divinely inspired conduct find recognition also in the eyes 
of the world. Your treatise, which at the time aroused 
bad feelings, has not been forgotten; if your counsel had 
been followed the unfortunate military port would at least 
never have been begun, and millions and millions would 
have been saved for our country, not to speak further of 
the disgrace. Such minds should not celebrate, the Min- 
ister thinks; in answer to my report of events here, he 
has sent an order by telegraph to confer upon you a medal 
for bravery, with a ribbon, in the name of His Majesty, 
and to ask you, in his own name, whether you are inclined 
to enter his Ministry in some capacity to be agreed upon 
in a personal interview with him — as reporting member to 
the ministry, I suppooe, or even the marine ministry — ^it 
appears that the two gentlemen are competing for you. I 
think I know what you will answer me — that you prefer 
to remain here for the present. I should not like to lose 
you just now ; but keep your future open in any case ; you 
owe it to the general weal, and you owe it to yourself. 
Am I right?" 

"Certainly, Mr. President," replied Eeinhold; "it is my 
ardent desire and my firm determination to serve my King 
and country by land and sea whenever and however I can. 
Every call which comes to me will find me ready, although 
I will not deny that I should leave here reluctantly, very 
reluctantly." 

"I can easily imagine so," said the President. "A man 
like you puts his soul into everything, devotes himself to 
the fulfilment of his duty, be it great or small ; and that one 
can perform great things in a comparatively small sphere 
you have shown. Nevertheless the matter has also a sen- 



STORM FLOOD 201 

timental side which it would be false heroism to overlook. 
The high recognition which your services have received 
from the King will be a pleasing satisfaction for your so 
sorely tried father-in-law, and he would feel himself quite 
lonely in Berlin without the presence of his daughter. ' ' 

"How kind you are!" said Eeinhold, with emotion. 
"How you think of everything!" 

"Isn't it so!" rejoined the President, returning the pres- 
sure of Eeinhold 's hand with a friendly grip. " It is admir- 
able! Have I not the honor to be a friend of the family? 
And did you not recognize me in that capacity when you 
communicated everything privately to me in your ofiBcial 
report of the events of the days of the storm flood I What 
concerned you and the family to whom you now belong? 
I feel myself honored by your confidence; I do not 
need to tell you that it is all buried in my breast. But 
you are right — ^in such complicated circumstances one 
must not depend upon himself, one must call to his aid ex- 
perience, the wisdom of his friends. And who would be 
better able than I to offer assistance in this case? I have 
considered everything, I have made it all clear to myself, 
indeed have even laid some few first lines, and have found 
most ready response from every quarter. We will discuss 
that in detail when you come to Sundin in the next few 
days, as you will do, I hope. For today — I must go back 
to the funeral at once — only this much : I am sure that the 
estates of your aunt, the Baroness, are intact ; inasmuch as 
both Golm and the Society are bankrupt and must be con- 
tent with any condition, even if it be only moderately ac- 
ceptable. I shall not make any that are favorable to the 
parties, you may be sure of that ! These people who have 
brought such unspeakable disaster upon thousands deserve 
no pardon. To be sure, there will remain then, at the best, 
only fragments of the proud fortune, for the greater part 
of it, I fear, has forever disappeared with that horrible 
man, Giraldi. Or do you think not?" 

"Most certainly, Mr. President," said Reinhold. "I as- 



202 THE GEEMAN CLASSICS 

sumed it from the beginning, and the report of the man 
who drove for him and with whom I afterward spoke in 
detail myself and cross-questioned, confirmed my assump- 
tion. The inundation between Wissow Hook and Fachwieh 
came with such fearful violence that the first water must 
have been washed out more than once by that coming in 
from the bay, which was formed as from a bowl, together 
with everything in its current. Then the water which was 
forced out formed a monstrous stream, which surged be- 
tween the continent and the island, westward into the open 
sea, and if the corpses are ever driven ashore after weeks, 
perhaps after months, anywhere " 

' ' Too bad, too bad ! ' ' sighed the President. ' ' The proud, 
proud fortune — according to my estimation and accounts — 
which the dreadful man made in his last interview with the 
Baroness, a whole million! How much good could have 
been done with that! And in your hands, too! Neverthe- 
less, on the other hand— it is a dreadful thought — such an 
inheritance, and now even the Baroness! Are you ac- 
quainted with the horrible details ? ' ' 

"She knows that Antonio was the assassin of my poor 
cousin ; she knows, also, that the two Italians were together 
in their flight, that they perished together. I hope the 
unspeakable horror which the man's report contains for us 
will ever remain a secret." 

"She doesn't believe in the son?" 

"Not at all! It is as if God in his mercy had blinded 
in this direction her otherwise clear vision. She considers 
the whole matter a fabrication, a downright lie of Giraldi's. 
You can imagine, Mr. President, that we uphold her in her 
belief, and are grateful to fate even for that reason which 
swallows up in its depths what should never have seen 
the light of day." 

"Of course, of course!" said the President^ "that is a 
consolation withal. The unhappy woman has really already 
suffered enough. Toward your poor uncle fate has been 
less gracious. It is dreadful to lose such a daughter, so 



STOEM FLOOD 203 

fair and so highly endowed. But for a man such as your 
uncle must be, to judge from all I have heard of his gen- 
erosity, his sense of honor, to be pursued by the ghost 
of a son who is followed wherever he goes by warrants and 
bailiffs — against that, I think, no magnanimity and no 
philosophy can avail — that is pitilessly horrible, without 
the slightest breath of atonement! Such suffering, even 
time, which is almighty in other things, cannot diminish; 
here death alone can bring relief — ^but the man will take 
good care not to die. ' ' 

"I don't know," said Eeinhold. "He is from a family 
which does not fear death ; however differently the unfortu- 
nate man may look at life, I can easily imagine that even 
to him the question comes in a form which he understands, 
and that he will then not hesitate a moment in forming 
his decision." 

The fugitive ripple of an ironical smile played about the 
lips of the President ; he was about to say, in a happy turn 
of phrase, that he cou4d understand the pride of family, 
even when, as in this case, it overshot the mark ; but a loud 
cry in a heavy voice in the immediate neighborhood pre- 
vented him. The one who shouted was von Strummin, who 
came down the short cross street leading from the main 
street of the village to the parsonage in such haste that 
Eeinhold, who had already heard of the arrival of his 
friend in the early morning, had no time to tell the Presi- 
dent of the relation of the two men. On the other hand, 
von Strummin shouted, before he extended his hand to the 
President — "I have the honor, Mr. President, to present 
to you my son-in-law, Mr. Justus Anders, renowned sculp- 
tor — the grand gold medal, Mr. President! — came this 
morning with my daughter from Berlin, accompanied by 
your aunt, Commander — he took the arrangements in hand 
at once, as your aunt wished it so — ^had the whole lower 
floor cleared out — looks now like the church in Strummin ! 
Yes, my honored President ! Such an artist ! The rest of 
us must all stand with open mouths, — And now just think. 



204 THE GERMAN CLASSICS 

Mr. President — the pastor cannot, or rather will not, 
preach the funeral sermon — declines at the last moment! 
We — my son-in-law and I — have just seen him — didn't even 
receive us — can't see any one — can't speak at all — ^beauti- 
fully hoarse. The parish of Golm, which the Count has 
promised him, still sticking in his throat!" 

"Pardon, Strummin," said Reinhold, interrupting the 
zealous man, "I differ widely from the pastor in his belief, 
but here I must take his part. He is really ill, very ill, 
and his illness has a justifiable cause. I know it; for my 
men, and, as it happened, I myself — we have had the feeble 
old man with us everywhere as a volunteer wherever there 
was need of giving help or consolation, and you know that 
was thje case on not a few occasions. " 

"Well, if you say so!" exclaimed von Strummin; "and 
it may be, too, that I have become suspicious, if I think I 
scent only a trail of our fine Count. But the Parish of 
Golm " 

"Dear von Strummin," whispered the President, "why 
all that so loud ! — And you have heard " 

"Well, for all I care!" cried Strummin; "I am only say- 
ing that the Parish of Golm " 

The two friends could not hear what Strummin, now 
lowering his voice at the repeated request of the Presi- 
dent, said further in support of his theory. They remained 
some distance behind, shaking hands repeatedly, while 
tears stood in their eyes. 

"Yesterday at this time we buried Cilli," said Justus. — 
* ' Ferdinande 's Pieta, which I am finishing, will stand over 
her grave, and declare to the world what a treasure of 
goodness and love and mercy lies buried there; and to 
these two here I will erect a monument — I showed Mieting 
a plan of it on the way. — She says it will be great; but how 
gladly I would break stone, literally, for the rest of my 
life, as my father-in-law said, if I could thereby awake the 
good, noble, brave souls to life again! — The naval uniform 
is very becoming to you, Reinhold ! I should have modeled 



STOEM FLOOD 205 

you that way; we must try it again — the big gold epaulettes 
are fine for modeling! — And who is going to preach the 
funeral sermon? The General and Uncle Ernst have di- 
rected that they shall both be buried in one grave. I find 
that beautiful and right, and the objection that they were 
not even publicly betrothed entirely without basis and 
genuinely philistine. And here it occurs to me — ^Uncle 
Ernst must speak at the grave ; he speaks so well, and it 
will do him good to express his thoughts ! — And the Gen- 
eral, too ; they both stand together, now, like brothers. A 
dispatch came a while ago for Uncle Ernst; I was present 
when he opened it, and saw how he winced ; I am convinced 
that it is about poor Philip ; they probably caught him ; it 
is horrible that Uncle Ernst must bear that, too — on a day 
like this ! But he didn't tell any one except the General. I 
saw how they went aside, and he showed the General the 
dispatch, and they conversed together for a long time, and 
then shook hands. — Unale Ernst ! who swore that the hand 
which he should extend to the General would shrivel up, 
and who asked me, half a dozen times today, whether I 
thought Ottomar's comrades, who had said they were com- 
ing, would really come; it was for that reason we set the 
funeral so late — ^it would be very painful for the General 
if they didn't come! — As if he had no sorrows of his own! 
He is a heroic soul! — But your Else, too, is admirable. 
How she loved this brother, and how quietly and calmly 
she orders everything now, and has a willing ear and a 
cheerful kindly word for every one! 'That's more than I 
could do, you know,' said Mieting; 'there's only one Else, 
you know. ' — Of course I know that ! But there 's also only 
one Mieting! Am I not right?" 

' ' My dear son-in-law ! ' ' said Strummin, turning away. 

"He has called me that two hundred times today," said 
Justus with a sigh, lengthening and quickening his steps. 

They had reached the upper end of the deep narrow cut, 
where they saw the castle directly before them. A strange 
sight for the President, who was very well acquainted with 



206 THE GERMAN CLASSICS 

the situation from former days, and whom Eeinhold had 
led a few steps up to the now very steep slope. For the 
stream had washed away and carried off the slope to such 
an extent that here and there the edge projected, and Eein- 
hold was enabled to find and show to the President the 
place where the fir-tree had stood, whose fall had been so 
disastrous to Ottomar. Below them, between the steep' 
slope and the castle, a stream still surged — ^no longer in 
the foaming waves and roaring whirlpools of that night of 
terror, but in quiet, smooth eddies, which merged to form 
new ones and to splash up against the keels of five large 
boats across which the wide temporary bridge had been 
made from the mouth of the ravine to the ancient stone 
gate of the court. 

The turrets of the gate, down to the great coat-of-arms 
of the Warnows above the opening, gleamed in the evening 
sheen, and so, too, glittered the round tower of the castle 
and the roofs above it down to the sharply defined line 
of the blue-gray shadows, which the hill cast over the 
lower land. And farther on to the right gleamed the tree- 
tops of the flooded park, and beyond castle and park the 
still waters that entirely filled the great inlet and seemed 
to merge into the open sea beyond. Before the slanting, 
shimmering sunbeams even Eeinhold 's sharp eyes could not 
distinguish the few tops of the dunes which still towered 
above the water; he could scarcely make out the roofs of 
the Politz premises, or here and there on the wide surface 
a clump of willows on the banks of the dikes. 

The President stood absorbed in deep thought; he 
seemed to have forgotten even Eeinhold 's presence. — 
"Some time the daylight will come," Eeinhold heard him 
mutter. 

They walked over the pontoon bridge — the water gur- 
gling and splashing against the sharp keels; out of the 
wide opening of the gate came a sullen murmur. Entering 
the gate they saw for the first time why the village had 
looked so deserted. The very large court, particularly the 



STORM FLOOD 207 

part next to the castle, was filled with a multitude of per- 
haps a thousand people, who were huddled together in 
dense groups, and made room, with respectful greeting, for 
the gentlemen as they approached the portal. They curi- 
ously scanned the newcomers, making observations, in low 
tones, after they had passed. ' ' The man who walked with 
the Commander was the President!" they who knew him 
remarked (and there were many) to the others. — "If the 
President — ^who is the chief official in the whole district, 
and, besides being a kind gentleman, is well disposed to 
every one — would come and be present at the funeral, then 
the Count might stay at home, Heaven willing!" — "And if 
the Count wants to play the role of gentleman among them 
— they would make him sorry for it" — "But Mr. Damberg 
says that is not to be thought of ; the Count may be thank- 
ful if they spare his life, and, in any case, he would be 
ostracized." 

The gentlemen enter^ the castle. A still larger and 
more brilliant group now appeared upon the bridge, and 
drew the attention of the throng thither. It was a group 
of officers in full dress uniform, followed at some distance 
by a larger number -of subalterns — from the regiment of 
von Werben, said they who had served, and had seen Otto- 
mar in the casket. — And the Colonel in the front was, of 
course, the commander of the regiment! — That he could 
command, those who had served in France could tell by his 
eyes and nose. And the Captain, who marched at his side, 
had been sent by the General Staff by Field-Marshal von 
Moltke himself; and the tall Lieutenant, also in the uniform 
of von "Werben 's regiment, was young von Wartenberg, of 
the von Wartenbergs of Bolswitz ; and as for the old fam- 
ilies of von Bolswitz — ^they had come over an hour before 
in their equipage, with an outrider, from their castle, three 
miles away. And the idea that a word of all that stupid 
talk about young von Werben could be true, that they 
didn't take him to Berlin because he couldn't have an hon- 



208 THE GERMAN CLASSICS 

orable burial there, and that they came all the way from 
Berlin to help bury him! 

Justus, who had undertaken the direction of the funeral 
ceremonies with the greatest willingness, and had seen the 
officers come across the courtyard, waited in the vestibule 
until he could receive them and conduct them iato the room 
on the right, where the company was assembled. Then he 
beckoned to Reinhold to follow him, and led him to the 
door at the end of the hall, which he quietly opened and 
immediately closed behind him. No one else would be 
allowed to enter, he declared, — "What do you say. Rein- 
hold?" 

The high magnificent rooms, with windows all closed, 
were flooded with soft light from countless tapers, hung 
from the walls and ceiling; and among baskets of ever- 
green plants and young fir-trees which stood in a beautiful 
ellipse, opening toward the door, rested the two caskets 
upon an elevated platform, covered with tapestries and 
flowers. The walls were decorated with old arms which 
Justus had taken from the armory of the castle^beautiful 
casts of antiques, and even originals, which a former art- 
loving occupant of the castle had collected, and which 
Justus had brought from the halls and rooms, and groups 
of ornamental plants and evergreens — ^with lighted candles 
among them. 

"Haven't I made it look beautiful!" he whispered; "and 
all in the few morning hours. They would both be delighted 
with it — he with the arms, and she with the sculptures. 
But they themselves are the most beautiful of all ! I must 
now call the :^Rmily, Reinhold, before we close the caskets ; 
meanwhile, take your last look. You haven't had as much 
opportunity as the others." 

Justus vanished through the door leading to the apart- 
ments. Reinhold ascended the steps and went between the 
caskets in which the two were sleeping their eternal sleep. 

Yes, they were beautiful — ^more beautiful than they had 
been in life. Death appeared to have removed every trace 



STORM FLOOD 209 

of earth from them, so that noble Nature might reveal her- 
self in all her splendor. How fair, how noble, the face of 
this girl, and how beautiful the face of the youth, as if 
their souls had been truly united in death, and each had 
fondly given to the other what was fairest in life! So, 
around their lips, once so proud, a sweet, blissful, meek 
smile rested, for, along with the restless shifting of the 
nervous eyes and the impatient trembling of the fine mouth, 
death had blotted out all that was incomplete, imperfect, 
from the young man's clear features, and had left nothing 
but the expression of heroic will with which he had gone to 
his death, and of which the broad red wound on his white 
brow was the awful seal. 

There was a slight noise in the firs behind him ; he turned 
and opened his arms to Else. She laid her head on his 
breast, weeping. * ' Only for a moment can I feel your dear 
heart beating, and know that you are stUl left me — ^you, my 
sweet solace, my imf ailing treasure ! ' ' 

She arose. "Farewell, farewell, for the last time, fare- 
well, dear brother, farewell! Fair, proud sister, how I 
would have loved you!" She kissed the pale lips of the 
two corpses; Eeinhold took her in his arms and led her 
from the platform, down to where he saw Justus and Miet- 
ing standing, hand in hand, at a respectful distance, among 
the shrubbery; while, following the General, Valerie and 
Sidonie, Uncle Ernst and Aunt Eikchen appeared upon the 
platform to take leave of the dead. 

Solemn, yet nerve-racking moments, the details of which 
Eeinhold 's tearful eyes could not grasp nor retain ! But to 
Justus' keen artist's eye, one touchingly beautiful picture 
followed another — but, none more touching or beautiful 
for him, who knew these persons and their relations so well, 
than the last — the General almost carrying the exhausted 
Valerie down the steps, her head shrouded in a heavy veil 
of lace — she had come down from her sick room only for 
this occasion; while Uncle Ernst's strong form, still stand- 
ing there, bent over to kind little Aunt Eikchen, and, to 

Vol. XI— U 



210 THE GEEMAN CLASSICS 

quiet her, stroked with his strong hand her pale, troubled, 
tear-stained face, 

"Do you know," whispered Mieting; "they now feel 
what we felt when we stood before the dead angel — ^that 
they must love each other, you know." 

Half an hour later the funeral procession moved out of 
the castle gate, from one of whose turrets a large German 
flag, and from the other a black one, fluttered in the evening 
breeze; over the bridge of boats it passed, up the deep 
road, turning to the right along the gently sloping road to 
the cemetery which extended from the highest point to the 
chain of hills that formed the shore, a few hundred steps 
distant from the village — a long solemn procession ! 

The village children, strewing the way with evergreen, 
went on before the caskets — ^before the one decked with 
pahns, where lay the maidenly form of the beautiful heroic 
girl, borne by strong pilots and fishermen who would not 
surrender the honor of carrying their Commander's kins- 
woman to her last resting place; before that of the man, 
decorated with emblems of war, for whom she had died, 
and whom a kindly fate had allowed to die as a brave man, 
worthy of the decorations which he had won in battle, and 
which the Sergeant-Major of the company bore on a silk 
cushion after him — ^worthy he, that the trim warriors who 
had seen him in the days of his glory should lift him now 
on their shoulders, so often touched by his friendly hand in 
the hot hour of battle, and by the flaming bivouac-fire on 
the wearisome march to the great rendezvous. 

After the caskets, the two fathers; then Eeinhold with 
Else, and Justus with Mieting — Sidonie and Aunt Rikchen 
remaining with Valerie; the President and Colonel von 
Bohl, Schonau and the brilliant company of the other offi- 
cers, and neighboring noblemen with their ladies; von 
Strummin and his spouse, the Wartenbergs, the Griebens, 
the Boltenhagens, the Warnekows, and the rest, the des- 
cendants of the old hereditary families; the endless train 
of country folk and sea folk, with the heroic form of. brave 



STOEM FLOOD 211 

Politz, and the stout figure of the chief pilot, Bonsack, at 
their head. 

A long, silent procession it was, accompanied step by 
step by the monotonous cadences of the rising and falling 
waves along the steep shore, and now and then by the shrill 
cry of a sea-gull, which, soaring above the gleaming water, 
might have regarded the strange spectacle with wonder, 
or by a word whispered from neighbor to neighbor, which 
those immediately preceding and following did not hear. 
Thus were uttered the low words which the General spoke 
to Uncle Ernst as the head of the procession reached the 
cemetery — "Do you feel yourself equal to the task?" And 
Uncle Ernst's answer was — "Not until now have I felt 
myself equal to it. ' ' Even Eeinhold and Else, who walked 
behind them, would not have understood it if they had 
heard, nor had Uncle Ernst shown to any one but the Gen- 
eral the dispatch of which Justus had spoken. The dis- 
patch of serious content in the dry, matter-of-fact style of 
the police : Philip Schmidt recognized tonight when about 
to embark on the steamer Hansa, bound from Bremerhafen 
to Chile, shot himself with a revolver in his stateroom, 
leaving the embezzled money untouched; will be interred 
tomorrow evening at six o'clock. 

There, under the broad hand which he slipped under his 
overcoat, lay the paper, and his great heart beat against it 
— ^beat again truly strong and truly proud, now that he 
could say to himself that his unfortunate son did not belong 
to the cowards to whom life is everything ; that for him, too, 
there was a measure of disgrace which must not overflow, 
because in that moment he drained the beaker of life — a 
draught too insipid and loathsome even for his unhallowed 
lips. 

The caskets were lowered into a common grave. At its 
head stood Uncle Ernst, bareheaded, and, before him in 
a wide semicircle, the throng, bareheaded, silent, looking 
up to the powerful man whose almost gigantic figure tow- 
ered above the hills against the ruddy evening sky. Now 



212 THE GEEMAN CLASSICS 

he raised his piercing eyes, which seemed to take in at a 
glance the whole assemblage: and now his deep voice 
sounded, its clear tones making every word distinct, even 
to the outer edge of the circle. 

"My friends, one and all — I may call you so, for in the 
presence of such a great misfortune, such a fearful catas- 
trophe, all are friends who have human faces. 

"My friends! This— it had to be! It had to be! It 
had to be, because we had so basely, so 'Utterly forgotten 
love ; because we had lived on so long through the hopeless 
years, in barren selfishness, drowning the longing cry of 
our hearts with the empty sound of our iron conceit, 
ceaselessly keeping up the vain struggle for mine and thine 
— the fierce, wUd struggle — ^without a blush and without 
mercy, wishing no peace, giving no pardon, regarding no 
right but that of the victor, who scornfully treads the van- 
quished under foot. 

"Yes, my friends: it had to be, it had to be, that we 
should learn again to love one another ! It is this certainty 
— this, and this alone it is — ^which can soothe our sorrow 
for the dear ones whom we now commit to the sacred lap 
of Earth; the tender blossoms which the storm has broken. 

"The storm! The fearful storm, which raged through 
German hearts and minds and through German lands, 
breaking so many hearts, darkening so many minds, cover- 
ing so many fields of young green crops with the horrors of 
destruction, filling the air with poisonous mists, so that 
even the brave man might ask — Has the bright German 
sun set forever? But no! It shines upon us again! It 
sends us, as it sets, its last golden beams, promising a new, 
bright day, full of honest toil and true, golden harvest! 

"Oh; thou, serene light of Heaven, and thou. Sacred Sea, 
and thou, life-giving Earth — ^I call you to witness the vow 
which we make at the graves of these who parted from us 
all too soon : To put from us, from now on, all that is small 
and common, to live in the future in the light of truth, to 
love one another with all our hearts ! May the God of truth 



GOLGATHA 



* 'jSfe% We' Puinimg hy WihUmf von MwnMcsy 



STORM FLOOD 213 

and love grant that to the honor of humanity, and to the 
glory of the German name!" 

The voice of the speaker ceased. But the echo of his 
words quivered in the hearts of his hearers, as they silently 
stepped forward to show the last honors to the dead. The 
rays of the setting sun spread over the sky, lighting up the 
scene, and the sky lovingly reflected them back to earth. 




THE LIFE OF THEODOR STORM 

By Ewald Eiseehardt, Ph.D. 

Assistant Professor of German, University of Rochester, N. Y. 

[ANS THEODOR WOLDSEN STORM was 
born on the fourteenth of September, 1817, in 
the little town of Husum on the west coast of 
Schleswig-Holstein. His paternal forefathers 
were Low Germans; his mother's family, 
named Woldsen, was of Friesian origin. For many genera- 
tions the Storms had been hereditary tenants of the mill in 
Westermiihlen near Husum; for centuries the Woldsens 
had belonged to the aristocracy of Husum, composed of 
prominent merchants from whose ranks the burgomasters 
and senators rose. Theodor Storm's father was an attor- 
ney in Husum and commanded universal respect on account 
of his unselfishness, punctilious sense of honor, and clear- 
sightedness in juristic matters. The poet's mother is de- 
scribed as a woman of graceful and attractive appearance, 
distinguished by an unaffected emotional nature and keen 
mental penetration. Eduard Morike spoke of her person- 
ality as being "so clear, so luminous, so provocative of 
love." 

The Storms were not rich, but their home was permeated 
with that sense of solid comfort, based on the consciousness 
of efficiency and pride of ancestry, so often found in the 
burgher circles of Germany. Of particular importance to 
the children was the presence in the family of their ma- 
ternal grandmother. She was full of overflowing kindness 
toward her grandchildren, and hence to them the home pos- 
sessed the magic of a spot where, as in fairy tales, all 
wishes might be fulfilled, a veritable refuge in all times of 
need. She succeeded, moreover, in awakening in them 
strong family feeling; for she loved to tell about her own 
youth, her parents and brothers and sisters whose por- 
traits and sUhouetteSj in old-fashioned costumes and with 

[214] 



THEODOR STOEM 215 

quaint cues, hung on the walls. It was owing mainly to his 
mother 's family that the poet, even in his early youth, was 
brought into somewhat close touch in his native place with 
all the different classes of people and many kinds of char- 
acters; for on the vessels, in the factories, and in the 
houses of the Woldsens and Feddersens — Storm's ma- 
ternal grandmother was a Feddersen — numbers of the in- 
habitants of the little town had employment, and their 
relations with these families were not entirely of a busi- 
ness nature but were rooted in mutual confidence. 

Of equal importance for his development were the scenes 
with which the boy became familiar through his father's 
family. His paternal relatives were settled on considerable 
estates in the neighborhood, the family mill in Wester- 
miihlen being managed by his father's eldest brother. 
There the boy found an Eldorado in the holidays. There, 
while wandering through the woods and over the heath, he 
first held converse with nature ; there, where another spirit 
rested on house and garden than in the town, he first 
vaguely felt the atmosphere peculiar to certain places; 
there, where he saw men now favored, now threatened, by 
external powers and always dependent upon them, his eyes 
were first opened to the relations between man and nature 
in all their many-sidedness. 

Compared with what his home and family offered him, 
all that school could give the future poet was of no signifi- 
cance. Until the autumn of 1835 he attended the prepara- 
tory school of the town and was then sent to the Gymna- 
sium in Liibeck for a year and a half. After leaving there 
he devoted himself to the study of law, first in Kiel, which 
he left only to return after three terms spent in Berlin; 
and it was in the former place that he concluded his studies 
and passed his final juristic examination in the autumn 
of 1842. 

At that time Storm had already made several efforts to 
express himself in lyric poetry. At the age of nine he had 
written his first poem, and it is characteristic that the 



216 THE GEEMAN CLASSICS 

occasion of it was the death of a dearly loved sister. Later, 
during his school-days in Husum and Liibeck, he filled two 
small books with poems, and even made a vain attempt to 
reach the public with his The Building of St. Mary's at 
Liibeck. His poetical talent was most deeply stirred, how- 
ever, while he was in Kiel for the second time, when he 
became intimate with the historian Theodor Mommsen 
and his brother Tycho. As a result of this inspiring friend- 
ship the three young men published, in 1843, the Songs by 
Three Friends. Our poet's contributions to it were chiefly 
in the sphere in which throughout his whole life he was to 
show himself a master — namely, in love lyrics; and even 
these early poems sound, in common with many of his 
later wrjitings, the note of resignation. Doubtless this 
quality was largely innate in his nature, but it was also 
nursed and fed by an experience through which he passed 
in his youth. As a young student Storm loved a child, 
Berta von Buchau, and, while she was still a young girl, 
asked her hand in marriage, only, however, to meet with a 
refusal. The poems dedicated to this love are rich and 
varied in tone ; they range from the ironic and humorous to 
the exuberant and graceful, make the lover find gratifica- 
tion in the service of his love, are prompted by doubt, 
raise lamentations and accusations, pray for the lost love's 
happiness and ask her to bear him in remembrance, and 
finally they die away in grief and sadness. The most artis- 
tically finished poem of this group and the one that gives 
deepest utterance to Storm's peculiar poetical talent is 
Twilight. It avoids all extremes in feeling, seeks to pro- 
duce the single, deeply felt mood that created it, and gives 
in a few apparently chance touches a clear and definite 
situation. 

In February, 1843, Storm established himself as an attor- 
ney in Husum, and with this step his happiest years began. 
He was once naore in his home, away from which there had 
never been any real happiness for him; his parents were 
both still vigorous and he was surrounded by loving broth- 



THEODOR STOEM 217 

ers and sisters. In the social life of the place, which seems 
to have centred in his father's house, he was a favorite, 
and his influence on the spirit of the little town was felt 
when he founded and conducted a musical society, which 
soon was able to appear successfully in public. His hap- 
piness reached its climax when, in the autumn of 1846, he 
married his cousin Konstanze Esmarch. 

Konstanze was a really beautiful woman of fine and gen- 
erous proportions, with large yet delicately modeled fea- 
tures and fresh youthful vigor. Storm himself is described 
as a man of scarcely medium height, slender and of a 
somewhat stooping carriage. His appearance can have 
been impressive only by reason of his bright blue eyes 
and the high forehead beneath his abundant blond hair. 
Less irritable than her husband, less passionate and eager 
in her desires, Konstanze met life more evenly, firmly, and 
clearly, and thus, though lacking talent of any kind, she 
exerted a far-reaching and beneficial influence on the poet's 
nature. "When she came into the room it always seemed 
to me as if it grew lighter," he once said of her. 

For some years, during which three sons were born to 
them, they lived most happily in Husum until the shadow 
of political events fell across their house. After a vain 
struggle for freedom, the dukedoms of Schleswig and Hol- 
stein were subdued by Denmark ; and as Storm, even after 
their subjection, continued openly to proclaim his German 
sentiments he finally found himself obliged, in 1853, to 
leave his home. 

During the ten years spent in Husum Storm's lyric talent 
came to full and characteristic development. The influence 
of Heine 's Booh of Songs, so apparent in the poems of his 
school and student days, is hardly seen any more. Eichen- 
dorff's poems and his novel, Poets and Their Disciples, 
do indeed still echo strongly, and we feel the influence of 
Morike's lyrics in this period more clearly than before. 
But all this is insignificant in comparison with Storm's own 
creative power and the wealth that flowed to him out of his 



218 THE GERMAN CLASSICS 

own life. As he was particularly happy at that time, it is 
natural that qualities should appear in his work which 
are too often overlooked in forming an estimate of his 
character and which were more strongly developed in this 
period than in any other. It is true that we still hear sad 
tones, even complaints of lost love and of love's suffering 
and loneliness, but the majority and the best poems are 
written in a contented, confident, energetic, even jubilant 
key. It is his love for his wife, of whom he sang so much, 
that transfigures life to the poet. Beneath her hand pain 
is stilled, in her arms life and death are overcome, and 
her presence turns the alien place into home. Separated 
from the world and from the day nothing can surpass 
the moments when he receives from her love's last and 
highest gifts. To the sound of clear bells on moonlight 
nights peace on earth and good-will to men seem to descend 
upon the little family circle over which God himself keeps 
watch. It was in those days, too, that the poet succeeded in 
writing his song of "the gray town by the sea" which 
nature has treated so slightingly and yet so singularly, and 
to which his whole heart goes out; for it is, after all, 
his mother town. Indeed, he hails with rejoicing the world, 
the beautiful, imperishable world, and every true heart 
that does not allow itself to be subdued but enjoys the 
golden days and has learned to gild the gray ones. He is 
even full of hope as regards the fate of his home country. 
In spite of all defeats, in spite of all disgrace and dis- 
tress, he prophesies a new spring for her and calls the poet 
blessed who may then win for her "the jewel of poetry." 
It is only when he actually has to leave his home and move 
away with his wife and children that he begins to doubt 
as to his own return ; then his hope changes into the prayer 
that at least his sons may once be able to go back, for "no 
man thrives without a fatherland." 

In 1853 Storm had entered the Prussian service, and for 
three years held the position of assistant judge in the 
circuit court in Potsdam. There he was not content, in 



THEODOE STORM 219 

spite of the cordiality with which he was received, espe- 
cially by Berlin poets, artists, and lovers of art. If we 
understand him aright, he was oppressed by the feeling 
that in the society of Potsdam the worth of the individual 
was determined by the ofiSce he held and by his descent, 
and that the human being in that State was sacrificed to 
the citizen and the official, the man to the soldier. During 
those years Storm's poetical production faltered, and it 
was fortunate for him that in the autumn of 1856 he was 
transferred as a circuit judge to Heiligenstadt in Central 
Germany. This cozy little town in the mountains appealed 
exceedingly to his nature, and on the whole he was able to 
live there much as he had been accustomed to in Husum. 
In addition, the improvement in his financial condition and 
the lesser burden of his professional work undoubtedly 
contributed to the re-awakening in him of the poet. 

He was not so productive in lyric poetry as during the 
years in Husum, but, as regards artistic value, the poems 
of this period certainly do not stand below those of the 
earlier one. He tries his hand at folk-poetry and succeeds 
in striking its key of heartiness, simplicity, and sponta- 
neity. He clothes the popular theme of the enamoured 
miller's daughter in a garment of artistic form, and yet, by 
means of roguish humor and naive frankness, manages to 
sound the note of the folk-song. He employs one of the 
most telling means for lyric effect by drawing parallels 
between the conditions in nature and those in men, and in 
doing this he awakens the most delicate harmonies by por- 
traying both conditions without pointing out the relation 
between them, or by placing an individual in the midst of a 
somewhat minutely described landscape and leading us to 
imagine him in a state that corresponds with that of nature. 

But in contrast to those just mentioned the greater num- 
ber of his poems are of a subjective kind. Again the poet 
writes of his wife, from whom after all comes every joy 
that he experiences away from home, and he only draws her 
all the closer to his heart since the passing years have 



220 THE GERMAN CLASSICS 

imprinted the first signs of age on her gentle features. 
His love is mixed with yearning for the time when they 
were both young and — for his home. The yearning for 
home is at one time expressed in almost classically pure 
words, "nach driiben ist sein Auge stets gewandt" (his 
eye is ever roaming toward the other land) ; at another 
it merely underlies and glimmers through the devotion with 
which he paints a scene from home; at still another the 
poet's blood surges high and "fury and longing for home 
wrestle for his heart. ' ' At last he can no longer stifle his 
indignation; he calls upon the very dead to arise and to 
battle again, and in ringing words shouts to the world 
"die deutschen Grdber sind ein Spott der Feinde" (the 
German graves are mocked by enemies). 

Even more strongly than in his political poems the spe- 
cifically manly quality in Storm's poetry appears in what 
we may call his confessional lyrics. There he gives us his 
thoughts about immortality : that, in common with all crea- 
tion, man too rebels against dissolution, and that the belief 
in immortality is only the final, refined, and spiritualized 
form of this rebellion. But the true man stands above his 
own fate and will not sacrifice reason even to the most 
seductive promises. The church stands opposed to such 
high development of the individual ; Storm thinks poorly 
of it, and forbids the priest to attend at, his grave. 

As in the realm of the mind the poet opposes the church, 
so in the social sphere he attacks feudalism and the bu- 
reaucracy. Those whose national feeling is not deep and 
comprehensive enough to allow them to feel at one with 
the people he stigmatizes as the drop of poison in German 
blood. He holds up to ridicule those who need the pre- 
tentiousness of power in order to be happy and would like 
to gain it at the cost of the people 's liberty. But in pithy 
words Storm advises his sons to keep to the truth uncom- 
promisingly, to despise outward success, but to spare no 
pains in striving for true worth, not to sacrifice self-respect 
to consideration for others but always to remertiber that in 




Permission Berlin Photo Co., New York 

THEODOR STORM 



THEODOR STORM 221 

this life, after all, every one can stand only on his own 
feet. 

The years in Heiligenstadt are of special importance in 
Storm's whole artistic activity, inasmuch as poetry is grad- 
ually pushed into the second place by his prose works. 
At that time Storm was known to the greater public hardly 
at all by his lyrics but only by Immensee (1849) and similar 
tales. Hence he was recognized as the author of lyric 
stories expressive chiefly of "transfigured resignation." 
This characterization, however, is only partially justified, 
for resignation finally disappears from Storm's stories and 
the share that the lyric element has in his tales changes 
entirely in the course of time. Of a number of his earlier 
narratives and sketches it can actually be said that they 
were written less for the sake of the tale than on account 
of the mood they express. And, in Heiligenstadt, Storm, 
who in all spheres sought untiringly for pure form, finally 
reached that kind of prose in which feeling and imagina- 
tion have the widest scope, the ' ' Marchen. ' ' He writes The 
Rain-Witch, perhaps the most perfect artistic fairy tale of 
German literature, in which he not only surpasses Goethe 
and the Romanticists but also himself. For, in Storm's 
own words, his Hinzelmeier is only a ' ' fantastic-allegorical 
creation," Bulemann's House, written in the style of E. T. 
A. Hoffmann, "an odd story," while The Mirror of Cypri- 
anus appears rather "in the elegant robe of the saga." 

The last of these works was not finished in Heiligen- 
stadt, but when Storm was back in his old home again. For 
in March, 1864, he had returned to Husum, where he was 
given the office of "Landvogt" (district magistrate), to 
which were attached authority in police matters and the 
administration of justice. 

In taking this step he had followed the call of his fellow- 
citizens, for the death of Frederick VII. of Denmark had 
once more awakened in the Duchies the hope of freedom. 
The longed-for happiness of his return, however, was 
marred; for, instead of becoming independent, Schleswig- 



222 THE GERMAN CLASSICS 

Holstein was finally made a Prussian province, and he was 
still more deeply stricken by a loss in his family. In May, 
1865, his wife Konstanze died after the birth of her seventh 
child. Storm did indeed marry again — ^his second wife 
Dorothea Jensen was a friend and relative of his and 
Konstanze 's, and this marriage too was happy — ^but his 
further poems bear witness to what he lost in Konstanze. 
One of his stories, also, Viola Tricolor (1873), deals with 
the problem how a man can cultivate the memory of his 
dead wife without doing injury to his love for the living 
one; he called it a "Selbstbefreiung" (self -justification). 

The evening of Storm's life was not spent in Husum, 
where memories threatened to engulf him, but in the village 
of Hademarschen near-by, whither he moved in 1880, when 
he retired from office. Here he was destined still to develop 
abundant artistic activity as a novelist until his death on 
the fourth of July, 1888. 

After the completion of his imaginative writings a de- 
cided change in Storm's prose style began to take place. 
Formerly the lyrical element lay like a haze over and about 
objects and persons, and even now it does not disappear. 
Yet it no longer blurs and obliterates the outlines and con- 
nections, but rather streams out of the objects represented, 
as a fragrance rises from a flower. The first beginnings of 
this style are already noticeable in At the Castle (1861), in 
which the problems of class differences and of enlighten- 
ment form to a certain extent the backbone of the narra- 
tive, and in At the University (1862), which for a story 
of Storm's at that period contains a great wealth of inci- 
dents. But it was in such works as In the Village on the 
Heath and At Cousin Christian's that the poet first attained 
a purely objective narrative style. That he himself rea- 
lized this is clear from his correspondence. On the twenty- 
fourth of January, 1873, he writes to Hebbel's biographer 
Kuh with reference to In the Village on the Heath: "I 
think I have shown by this that I can also write a story 
without the atmosphere of a distinct mood (Dunstkreis 



THEODOR STORM 223 

einer bestimmten Stimmung). I do not mean a mood whioh 
is spontaneously developed during the reading from the 
facts given, but a mood furnished a priori by the author." 

Hand in hand with the development of this "epic" style 
goes the transition to realism which we find also in Storm's 
poems. In prose it is best represented by works like 
Eekenhof and Der Herr Etatsrat, or Hans and Heinz Kirch 
and Two-Souled. Here the poet shrinks from no harsh- 
ness. We find striking portraits the lines of which 
are drawn with a sharp, unflattering touch. Psychic con- 
ditions of the most brutal kind are portrayed and are made 
the more telling because it is almost only their effects that 
are given. In the same way the external world stands 
chiefly before us in its appearances while the conditions 
that have led to these appearances are neglected. Finally, 
Storm endeavors to step beyond the bounds of pure nar- 
rative. He seizes upon material of a dramatic nature and 
seeks to retain — nay more, to bring out — its dramatic char- 
acter, even in the epic form. In one of his letters he calls 
the "Novelle" the epic sister of the drama, and goes on to 
say that it treats of the deepest problems of human life and 
requires for its perfection to be centred about some con- 
flict. Such are works like The Sons of the Senator, where 
individual will is pitted against individual will ; Renate or 
At the Brewer's, where individuals struggle against a mul- 
titude who are sunk in error and superstition; and, above 
all, The Rider of the White Horse, where the individual 
wrestles with the mass, the man with the most elementary 
forces of nature. 

The Rider of the White Horse is Storm's last complete 
work and also, as we believe, the one that best reflects the 
whole man, as far as that is possible with a poet of such 
varied development. The scene is laid in his home, which 
is characterized with vividness and grandeur in its setting 
of marsh and sea. Like the stories of his youth it glorifies 
love, the love of two beings who are faithful to each other 
imto death, and at the same time it touches themes which 



224 THE GERMAN CLASSICS 

deeply occupied Storm in his age, such as the problem of 
heredity in Karsten Kurator, or the relation between father 
and son in Hans and Heinz Kirch or in Basch the Cooper. 
The charm of youth, to which our poet was always most 
susceptible, invests the chief characters, and they have that 
chaste reserve that holds all internal life sacred. Happi- 
ness is won, but it ends in tragedy, the tragedy which has 
taken the place of the resignation of his youthful works 
and which, after all, was more deeply rooted in Storm than 
the joyfulness that is sounded in Psyche. It is a man of 
sober intellect who tells the whole story and yet, like human 
life itself, it stands out against a mystic background. Re- 
membrance of long ago has clarified everything, loving 
comprehension fills everything with deepest sympathy. It 
was granted to Storm to stand on a pinnacle of art at the 
end of his life, a pinnacle which he had to leave, but from 
which he did not need to descend. 



THEODOR STORM 




THE RIDER OF THE WHITE HORSE (1888) 

TRANSLATED BT MUEIEL ALMON 

[ HE story that I have to tell came to my knowl- 
edge more than half a century ago in the 
house of my great-grandmother, the wife of 
Senator Feddersen, when, sitting close up to 
her armchair one day, I was busy reading a 
number of some magazine bound in blue cardboard^ either 
the Leipziger or Pappes Hamburger Lesefruchte, I have 
forgotten which. I still recall with a tremor how the old 
lady of more than eighty years would now and then pass 
her soft hand caressingly over her great-grandchild's hair. 
She herself, and that day, have long been buried and I 
have sought in vain for those old pages, so I can just as 
little vouch for the truth of the facts as defend them if 
anyone should question them. Only one thing I can affirm, 
that although no outward circumstance has since revived 
them in my mind they have never vanished -from my 
memory. 

On an October afternoon, in the third decade of our 
century — thus the narrator began his tale — I was riding in 
very bad weather along a dike in northern Friesland. For 
more than an hour I had been passing, on the left, a bleak 
marsh from which all the cattle had already gone, and, on 
the right, uncomfortably near, the marsh of the North 
Sea. A traveler along the dike was supposed to be able 
to see islets and islands; I saw nothing however but the 
yellow-gray waves that dashed unceasingly against the dike 
with what seemed like roars of fury, sometimes splashing 
me and the horse with dirty foam ; in the background eerie 
twilight in which earth could not be distinguished from 
sky, for the moon, which had risen and was now in its 
second quarter, was covered most of the time by driving 

VoL.XI-15 1225] 



226 THE GERMAN CLASSICS 

clouds. It was icy cold. My benumbed Ijands could scarcely 
hold the reins and I did not blame the crows and gulls 
that, cawing and shrieking, allowed themselves to be borne 
inland by the storm. Night had begun to fall and I could 
no longer distinguish my horse's hoofs with certainty; not 
a soul had met me ; I heard nothing but the screaming of 
the birds, as their long wings almost brushed against me or 
my faithful mare, and the raging of wind and water. I 
do not deny that at times I wished myself in some secure 
shelter. 

It was the third day of the storm and I had allowed 
myself to be detained longer than I should have by a par- 
ticularly dear relative at his farm in one of the northern 
parishes. But at last I had to leave. Business was 
calling me in the town which probably still lay a few hours' 
ride ahead of me, to the south, and in the afternoon I had 
ridden away in spite of all my cousin and his kind wife 
could do to persuade me, and in spite of the splendid 
home-grown Perinette and Grand Richard apples which 
were yet to be tried. "Just wait till you get out by the 
sea," he had called after me from the door, "you will turn 
back then ; we will keep your room ready for you ! " 

And really, for a moment, as a dark layer of clouds made 
it grow black as pitch around me and at the same time a 
roaring gust threatened to sweep both me and my horse 
away, the thought did flash through my head: "Don't be 
a fool! Turn back and sit down in comfort with your 
friends." But then it occurred to me that the way back 
was longer than the one to my journey's end, and so, draw- 
ing the collar of my cloak closer about my ears, I 
trotted on. 

But now something was coming along the dike towards 
me. I heard nothing, but I thought I could distinguish 
more and more clearly, as a glimmer fell from the young 
moon, a dark figure, and soon, when it came nearer, I saw 
that it was riding a long-legged, lean white horse. A dark 
cloak fluttered about the figure's shoulders and as it flew 



THE EIDER OF THE WHITE HORSE 227 

past two burning eyes looked at me from a pale coun- 
tenance. 

Who was it? Why was it here ? And now I remembered 
that I had heard no sound of hoofs nor of the animal's 
breathing, and yet horse and rider had passed close 
beside me. 

Wondering about this I rode on. But I had not much 
time to wonder; it was already passing me again from 
behind. It seemed to me as if the flying cloak brushed 
against me and the apparition shot by as noiselessly as 
before. Then I saw it farther and farther ahead of me and 
suddenly it seemed to me as if its shadow was suddenly 
descending the land-side of the dike. 

With some hesitation I followed. When I reached the 
spot where the figure had disappeared I could see close to 
the dike, below it and on the land-side, the glistening of 
water in one of those water-holes which the high tides bore 
in the earth during a storm and which then usually remain 
as small but deep-bottomed pools. 

The water was remarkably still, even stiller than the 
protection of the dike would account for. The rider could 
not have disturbed it; I saw nothing more of him. But I 
did see something else that I greeted with joy; below me, 
on the reclaimed land, a number of scattered lights shone. 
They seemed to come from the long, narrow Friesian 
^houses that stood singly on mounds of different heights; 
while close before me, halfway up the inside of the dike, 
stood a large house of the same sort. All its windows on 
the south side, to the right of the door, were illuminated; 
behind them I could see people and even thought I could 
hear them, in spite of the storm. My horse had already 
turned of its own accord onto the path down the side of the 
dike that would lead me to the house. It was evidently a 
public house, for in front of the windows I could see the 
beams, resting on two posts' and provided with iron rings, 
to which the cattle and horses that stopped there were tied. 

I fastened mine to one of the rings and then commended 



228 THE GERMAN CLASSICS 

it to the care of the hostler who came to meet me as I 
stepped into the hall. "Is there a meeting here?" I asked 
him, hearing distinctly the sound of voices and the clatter 
of glasses through the open door of the room. 

"Something of the kind," he replied in Low Grerman, 
and I learnt later that this dialect in the place had been 
current, together with the Friesian, for over a hundred 
years. "The dikegrave and commissioners and some of 
the others interested! It's on account of the high water!" 

Entering I saw about a dozen men sitting at a table 
which ran along under the windows ; on it stood a bowl of 
punch over which a particularly stately man seemed to 
preside. 

I bowed and asked to be allowed to sit down with them, 
which request was readily granted. "You are keeping 
watch here, I suppose," I said, turning to the stately man; 
"it is dirty weather outside; the dikes will have all they 
can do!" 

"Yes, indeed," he replied; "but we here, on the east 
side, think we are out of danger now; it is only over on 
the other side that they are not safe. The dikes there are 
built, for the most part, after the old pattern; our main 
dike was moved and rebuilt as long ago as in the last cen- 
tury. We got chilled out there a little while ago, and you 
are certainly cold too," he added, "but we must stand it 
here for a few hours longer; we have our trustworthy 
men out there who come and report to us." And before 
I could give" the publican my order a steaming glass was 
pushed towards me. 

I soon learnt that my friendly neighbor was the dike- 
grave. We got into conversation and I began to tell him 
my singular experience on the dike. He grew attentive 
and I suddenly noticed that the conversation all around us 
had ceased. "The rider of the white horse!" exclaimed 
one of the company and all the rest started. 

The dikegrave rose. "You need not be afraid," he said 
across the table ; ' ' that does not concern us alone. In the 



THE EIDER OF THE WHITE HORSE 229 

year '17 too it was meant for those on the other side; we'll 
hope that they are prepared for anything ! ' ' 

Now the shudder ran through me that should properly 
have assailed me out on the dike. "Pardon me," I said, 
"who and what is this rider of the white horse?" 

Apart from the rest, behind the stove, sat a little lean 
man in a scant and shabby black coat. He was somewhat 
bent and one of his shoulders seemed to be a little crooked. 
He had taken no part whatever in the conversation of the 
others, but his eyes, which in spite of his sparse gray hair 
were still shaded by dark lashes, showed clearly that he 
was not sitting thete merely to nod off to sleep. 

The dikegrave stretched out his hand towards him. 
*^Our schoolmaster," he said, raising his voice, "will be 
able to tell you that better than any of the rest of us here — 
only in his own way, to be sure, and not as correctly as 
Antje VoUmers, my old houseke'eper at home, would do it. " 
"You're joking, Dikegrave," came the somewhat thin 
voice of the schoolmaster from behind the stove, "to put 
your stupid dragon on an equality with me ! ' ' 

"Yes, yes, Schoolmaster!" returned the other; "but tales 
of that kind you know are said to be best preserved among 
the dragons!" 

"To be sure," said the little man. "We are not quite 
of the same opinion in this matter, ' ' and a smile of superi- 
ority passed over his delicately formed face. 

"You see," the dikegrave whispered in my ear, "he is 
still a little haughty. He studied theology once, in his 
youth, and stuck here in his home as schoolmaster only on 
account of an unfortunate betrothal." 

In the meantime the schoolmaster had come forward 
out of his corner and seated himself beside me at the long 
table. "Go on Schoohnaster, let us have the story," called 
a few of the younger ones in the party. 

"To be sure," said the old man turning to me, "I am 
glad to oblige you; but there is much superstition inter- 



230 THE GERMAN CLASSICS 

woven with it and it requires art to tell the tale without 
including that." 

"Please don't leave that out," I replied, "trust me to 
separate the chaff from the wheat myself. ' ' 

The old man looked at me with a smile of understanding. 
"Well, then," he said, "in the middle of the last century, 
or rather, to be more exact, before and after the middle, 
there was a dikegrave here who understood more about 
dikes, draiijs and sluices than peasants and farmers usually 
do; yet even so it seems hardly to have been enough, for 
he had read but little of what learned experts have written 
about such things, and had only thought out his own knowl- 
edge for himself from the time he was a little child. You 
have probably heard, sir, that the Friesians are good at 
figures and undoubtedly you have heard some talk too about 
our Hans Mommsen of Fahretoft, who was a peasant and 
yet could make compasses and chronometers, telescopes 
and organs. Well, the father of this dikegrave was a bit 
like that too ; only a bit, to be sure. He had a few fields in 
the fens where he planted rape and beans, and where a 
cow grazed. Sometimes in autumn and spring he went out 
surveying, and in winter when the northwester came and 
shook his shutters, he sat at home sketching and engraving. 
His boy generally sat there with him and looked up from 
his reader or his Bible at his father measuring and calcu- 
lating, and buried his hand in his blond hair. And one 
evening he asked his father why that which he had just 
written had to be just like that and not otherwise, and 
gave his own opinion about it. But his father, who did not 
know what answer to give, shook his head and said: "I 
can't tell you why, it is enough that it is so; and you your- 
self are mistaken. If you want to know more go up to the 
attic tomorrow and hunt for a book in the box up there. 
The man who wrote it was called Euclid ; you can find out 
from that book." 

The next day the boy did go up to the attic and soon 
found the book, for there were not many in the whole 



THE RIDER OF THE WHITE HORSE 231 

house; but his father laughed when the boy laid it down 
before him on the table. It was a Dutch Euclid, and Dutch, 
although after all it is half German, was beyond them both. 

' ' Yes, yes, ' ' he said, ' ' the book was my father 's, he under- 
stood it. Isn't there a German one there?" 

The boy, who was a child of few words, looked quietly at 
his father and only said: "May I keep it? There is no 
German one there." 

And when the old man nodded he showed him a second 
little volume, half torn. "This one too?" he asked again. 

"Take them both," said Tede Haien; "they won't do you 
much good." 

But the second book was a little Dutch grammar, and 
as most of the winter was still to come it did help the lad 
enough so that finally when the time came for the goose- 
berries to bloom in the garden he was able to understand 
nearly all of the Euclid, then very much in vogue. 

' ' I am not unaware, Sir, ' ' the narrator interrupted him- 
self, "that this same incident is told of Hans Mommsen; 
but, here with us, people used to tell it of Hauke Haien — 
that was the boy's name — ^before Mommsen was born. You 
know how it is, when a greater man arises, he is credited 
with everything that his predecessors may have done, in 
earnest or in fun. ' ' 

When the old man saw that the lad cared nothing about 
cows or sheep and scarcely even noticed when the beans 
were in blossom — which after all is the joy of every man 
from the marshlands — and that his little place might in- 
deed get on with a peasant and a boy, but not with a semi- 
scholar and a servant, and also because he himself had 
failed of prosperity, he sent his big boy to the dike, where 
from Easter till Martinmas he was to wheel his barrow of 
earth with the other laborers. "That will cure him of 
Euclid I " he said to himself. 

And the lad pushed his wheelbarrow, but he kept the 
Euclid in his pocket all the time, and when the workmen 
ate their lunch or stopped for a bite in the late afternoon 



232 THE GERMAN CLASSICS 

he sat on the bottom of a wheelbarrow with the book in his 
hand. And in autumn when the tides began to be higher, 
and the work had sometimes to be stopped he did not go 
home with the others, but stayed, and sat on the slope of 
the dike, his hands clasped round his knee, and watched 
for hours how the gray waves of the North Sea dashed up 
higher and higher towards the grass-line of the dike. Not 
until the water came in over his feet and the foam spattered 
in his face did he move up a few feet higher and then sit on 
there. He heard neither the splashing of the water nor the 
screaming of the gulls and shore-birds that flew above and 
around him, almost touching him with their wings, and 
flashing their black eyes into his ; nor did he see how 
night came and enveloped the broad, wild desert of water 
in front of him. All that he saw was the hem of the water 
outlined by the surf which, when the tide was in, struck 
again and again with its heavy beat on the same spot in 
the dike and washed away the grass-line on its steep side 
before his very eyes. 

After staring at it long he sometimes nodded his head 
slowly, or, without looking up, drew a soft line in the air 
with his hand as if he would thus give the dike a gentler 
slope. When it grew so dark that all earthly things van- 
ished from his sight and only the tide continued to thunder 
in his ears, he got up and trotted home half wet through. 

One evening when he came home in this state, his father, 
who was cleaning his measuring instruments, looked up and 
turned on him. "What have you been doing out there so 
long? You might have been drowned; the water is eating 
right into the dike today." 

Hauke looked at him stubbornly. 

"Don't you hear what I say? You might have been 
drowned." 

"Yes," said Hauke; "but I didn't get drowned." 

"No," replied the old man after a time and looked at 
him a,bsent-mindedly — "not this time." 

"But," went on Hauke, "our dikes are no good!" 



THE EIDER OF THE WHITE HORSE 233 

"What's that, boy?" 

"The dikes, I say!" 

"What about the dikes I" 

"They're no good, Father," 

The old man laughed in his face. "Is that so, boy? I 
suppose you are the child prodigy of Liibeck ! ' ' 

But the lad would not allow himself to be confused. 
"The water-side is too steep," he said; "if it should hap- 
pen again as it has already happened more than once we 
may all drown in here, behind the dike too. ' ' 

The old man pulled his tobacco out of his pocket, twisted 
off a piece and pushed it in behind his teeth. "And how 
many barrows did you wheel today?" he asked crossly, for 
he saw that working at the dike could not cure the boy of 
working with his mind. 

"I don't know. Father; about the same as the others; 
perhaps half a dozen more. But — the dikes must be built 
different. ' ' 

"Good," said his father \yith a laugh; "you may get 
to be dikegrave ; then, build them different. ' ' 

"Yes, Father," returned the boy. 

The old man looked at him and swallowed once or twice ; 
then he went out. He did not know what answer to give 
the lad. 

When, at the end of October, work on the dike came to 
an end Hauke Haien still continued to find more pleasure 
in a walk out towards the north, to the sea, than in any- 
thing else. Just as the children of today look forward to 
Christmas, he looked forward to All Saints' Day, when the 
equinoctial gales burst over the land, an occasion for lamen- 
tation in Friesland. In spite of wind and weather he was 
certain to be found at the time of the high spring tides 
lying out on the dike all by himself; and when the gulls 
shrieked, when the waves dashed high against the dike, 
and in rolling back washed out whole pieces of sod into the 
sea, Hauke 's angry laughter was something worth hearing. 



234 THE GEEMAN CLASSICS 

"You can't do anything right," he shouted out into the 
noise, "just as people don't know how to do anything!" 
And at last, often when it was quite dark, he would turn 
away from the broad, bleak expanse and trot home along the 
dike till he reached the low door under his father's thatch, 
and his tall, overgrown figure slipped through and into the 
little room beyond. 

Sometimes he brought a handful of clay with him. Then 
he sat down beside his father who had begun to let him 
go his own way, and, by the light of the thin tallow candle, 
kneaded all kinds of dike-models, laid them in a shallow 
dish of water and tried to imitate the way in which the 
waves washed out the bank. Or he took his slate and drew 
on it profiles of dikes on the water-side as he thought they 
ought to be. 

It never entered his head to associate with the boys who 
had been his companions in school, and apparently they 
cared nothing about such a dreamer. When it came winter 
again and the frost had taken hold he wandered out along 
the dike farther than he had ever been before to where the 
ice-covered surface of the shoals stretched before him as 
far as the eye could reach. 

In February, during continuous frost, dead bodies were 
found washed up on the shore; they had lain out by the 
open sea on the frozen shoals. A young woman who had 
seen them being carried into the village stood and chat- 
tered to old Haien: "Don't think that they looked like 
people," she exclaimed, "no, they looked like sea-devils! 
Big heads like thiis," and she held up her hands with the 
fingers stretched out, far apart from each other, "black 
and wrinkled and shiny like freshly baked bread ! And the 
crabs had nibbled them; the children screamed when they 
saw them." 

Such a description was not exactly new to old Haien. 
' ' They have probably been washing about in the sea since 
November," he said indifferently. 

Hauke stood beside them in silence. But as soon as he 



THE EIDER OF THE WHITE HORSE 235 

could he crept away out to the dike; no one could say 
whether he wanted to hunt for more corpses or whether 
the horror that still hung about the now deserted spots 
where the others had been found attracted him. He ran on 
farther and farther till he stood all alone in the bleakness 
where only the winds swept across the dike and where there 
was nothing but the plaintive voices of the great birds as 
they wheeled quickly by. On his left lay the wide empty 
marsh, on the other side the never-ending shore with the 
great expanse of shoals now glistening with ice ; it seemed 
as if the whole world lay in white death. 

Hauke remained standing on the dike and his keen 
eyes glanced far in all directions ; but there were no more 
dead to be seen; only where the invisible currents moved 
under it the ice field rose and sank like a stream. 

He ran home; but on one of the following evenings he 
was out there again. The ice was now broken in places: 
clouds of smoke seemed to rise out of the cracks and above 
the whole surface of the shallows was spread a net of 
steam and fog that combined strangely with the dusk of the 
evening. Hauke gazed at it with fixed eyes, for dark figures 
moved up and down in the fog, and as he watched them they 
seemed to be as large as men. There, far away on the edge 
of the smoking fissures, they walked back and forth, full of 
dignity but with long noses and necks and odd, terrifjdng 
gestures ; suddenly they began to jump up and down in an 
uncanny way, liks imps, the big ones over the little ones 
and the little ones towards the others; then they spread 
out and lost all form. 

"What of themi Are they the spirits of those who were 
drowned?" thought Hauke. "Ahoy!" he shouted loudly 
into the night; but the forms heeded him not, merely con- 
tinued their strange doings. 

Then he suddenly thought of the fearful Norwegian sea- 
ghosts about whom an old captain had once told him, who 
instead of a head and face had only a tuft of sea-grass 
on their necks ; he did not run away however, but dug the 



236 THE GERMAN CLASSICS 

heels of his boots deep into the clay of the dike and gazed 
at the weird antics that went on before his eyes in the grow- 
ing dusk. ' ' Are you here with us too ? " he asked in a hard 
voice. "You shall not drive me away." 

Not till the darkness had covered everything did he start 
for home, walking with a stiff, slow step. But from behind 
him there seemed to come the whirring of wings and re- 
sounding laughter. He did not look round, neither did he 
quicken his step, and it was late when he reached home, 
but he is said never to have spoken to his father or anyone 
else of this experience. Only many years later, after God 
Almighty had laid the burden of an half-mtted child upon 
him, he took the girl out on the dike with him at the same 
time of day and of the year and the same thing is said to 
have happened again out on the shallows. But he told her 
not to be afraid, those creatures were only herons and 
crows that looked so big and dreadful in the fog as they 
caught fish in the open cracks. 

"God knows. Sir!" the schoolmaster interrupted him- 
self; ''there are all kinds of things in the world that may 
confuse an honest Christian's heart; but Hauke was neither 
a fool nor a dunce." 

As I did not reply he was about to go on, but suddenly 
there was a stir among the other guests who hitherto had 
listened in silence, only filling the low room with dense 
tobacco smoke. First one or two, then nearly all of them 
turned towards the window. Outside — ^we could see through 
the uncurtained windows — the wind was driving the clouds, 
and light and darkness were madly intermingled; but it 
seemed to me, too, as if I had seen the haggard rider shoot 
by on his white horse. 

"Wait a bit, Schoolmaster," said the dikegrave softly. 

"You need not be afraid, Dikegrave," replied the little 
story-teller. ' ' I have not slandered him and have no reason 
to do so," and he looked up at him with his wise little eyes. 

"Well, well," said the other, "just let me fill your glass 
again." And after that had been done and the listeners, 



mw, 




THE RIDER OF THE WHITE HORSE 237 

most of them with disconcerted faces, had turned to him 
again the schoolmaster continued : 

"Thus keeping to himself and loving best to live only 
with the wind and water and the images that solitude 
brings, Hauke grew up to be a tall, lean fellow. He had 
been confirmed for more than a year when things began to 
change with him, and that was owing to the old white 
Angora tom-cat which had been brought home from a 
Spanish sea voyage to old Trien' Jans by her son, who later 
perished on the flats. Trien' lived a good distance out on 
the dike in a little cottage and when she was working about 
in her house this monster of a cat used to sit in front of 
the door and blink out at the summer day, and the lap- 
wings that flew by. When Hauke passed the cat mewed 
at him and Hauke nodded; they both knew what was going 
on between them. 

Once, it was spring, and Hauke often lay out on the 
dike as was his habit, farther down nearer the water, among 
the shore-pinks and the sweet-smelling sea-wormwood, and 
let the sun, which was already strong, shine down on him. 
The day before, when he was on the uplands, he had filled 
his pockets with pebbles and when the low tide had laid 
bare the flats and the little gray sand-pipers hopped over 
them, piping as they went, he suddenly took a stone out of 
his pocket and threw it at the birds. He had practised this 
from childhood and generally managed to bring one down ; 
but just as often it was impossible to go out on the mud 
after it ; Hauke had often thought of bringing the cat with 
him and teaching it to retrieve. Here and there, however, 
there were firm spots in the mud or sandbanks and then 
he could run out and fetch his plunder himself. If the cat 
was still sitting in front of the door as he passed on his 
way home it mewed wild with rapacity until Hauke threw 
it one of the birds he had killed. 

On this particular day as he went home, his jacket on 
his shoulder, he only had one bird, of a kind unknown to 
him but which was covered with beautiful plumage that 



238 THE GERMAN CLASSICS 

looked like variegated silk and burnished metal. The cat 
looked at him and begged loudly as usual. But this time 
Hauke did not want to give up his prey — it may have been 
a kingfisher — and paid no attention to the animal's desire. 
"Turn and turn about," he called to him, "my turn today, 
yours tomorrow; this is no food for a tom-cat!" But the 
cat crept up cautiously towards him; Hauke stood and 
looked at him, the bird hanging from his hand and the cat 
stopped with its paw raised. But Hauke seems not to have 
understood his friend thoroughly, for, as he turned his 
back on him and prepared to go on his way he felt his 
plunder torn from his grasp with a jerk, and at the same 
time a sharp claw dug into his flesh. A sudden fury like 
that of a beast of prey surged in the young fellow's blood; 
he grabbed madly about him and had the robber by the 
neck in a moment. Holding up the powerful creature in 
his fist he strangled it till its eyes obtruded from the rough 
hair, not heeding the strong hind claws that were tearing 
the flesh from his arm. "Ho, ho !" he shouted and gripped 
it still tighter ; " we '11 see which of us can stand it longest ! ' ' 

Suddenly the hind legs of the great cat dropped lifelessly 
from his arm and Hauke went back a few steps and threw 
it towards the cottage of the old woman. As the cat did 
not move he turned and continued his way home. 

But the Angora cat had been its mistress's treasure; it 
was her companion and the only thing that her son, the 
sailor, had left her when he came to his sudden end on 
thie coast hard by, while trying to help his mother catch 
prawns in a storm. Hauke had scarcely taken a hundred 
steps, sopping up the blood from his wounds with a cloth as 
he went, when a loud outcry and lamentation from the 
direction of the cottage struck on his ear. He turned and 
saw the old woman lying on the ground in front of it while 
the wind blew her gray hair about the red handkerchief 
that covered her head. "Dead!" she shrieked, "dead!" 
and stretched out her thin arm threateningly towards him : 
"you shall be cursed! You killed him, you useless vaga- 



THE EIDER OF THE WHITE HOESE 239 

bond; you weren't worthy to stroke his tail." She threw 
herself on the animal and gently wiped away with her 
apron the blood that flowed from its nose and month. Then 
she again began her loud lamentation. 

"Will you soon be through?" called Hauke to her, "then 
let me tell you this : I will get you a tom-cat that is satis- 
fied with the blood of rats and mice ! ' ' 

With this he went on his way, not apparently paying heed 
to anything. But the dead cat must have confused his head 
all the same, for when he came to the village he went on 
past his father's house and all the others too, out a long 
way on the dike towards the south, where the town lies. 

In the meantime Trien' Jans too wandered out in the 
same direction ; she carried a burden in her arms wrapped 
in an old blue-checked pillow slip, holding it carefully as if 
it had been a child; and her gray hair blew about in the 
gentle spring breeze. "What are you carrying there, 
Trina?" asked a peasant who met her. "More than your 
house and home, ' ' she replied and went on eagerly. When 
she came near to old Haien's house, which stood down 
below, she turned down the "Akt" as we call the cattle- 
paths and footways that run up or down the side of the 
dike. 

Old Tede Haien was just standing out in front of the 
door looking at the weather. "Well, Trien'!" he said as 
she stood before him, panting and digging the point of her 
stick into the ground. "What have you got new in your 
bag?" 

' ' First let me come in, Tede Haien ! Then I '11 show you, ' ' 
she said with an odd gleam in her eyes. 

"Come in then," said the old man. Why should he 
bother about the foolish woman's eyes? 

And when they were both inside she went on : " Take the 
old tobacco box and writing things away from the table — 
what do you want to be always writing for? There ! And 
now wipe it off nice and clean!" And the old man, who 
was beginning to be curious, did everything that she told 



240 THE GERMAN CLASSICS 

him. Then she took the blue pillow slip by the comers and 
shook the body of the great cat out on the table. "There 
you have him," she cried, "your Hauke has killed him." 
Whereupon she began to cry bitterly. She stroked the thick 
fur of the dead animal, laid its paws together, bowed her 
long nose over its head and whispered indistinct words of 
endearment into its ear. 

Tede Haien watched the scene. " So, " he said, ' ' Hauke 
killed him ? " He did not know what to do with the blubber- 
ing woman. 

She nodded grimly: "Yes, by God, he did it!" and she 
wiped away the tears from her eyes with her gnarled gouty 
hand. "No child, nothing alive any more!" she sobbed. 
"And you know yourself how it is with us old ones, after 
All Saints ' Day 's over our legs freeze at night in bed and 
instead of sleeping we listen to the northwester rattling 
at the shutters. I don't like to hear it, Tede Haien, it 
comes from where my lad went down in the mud." 

Tede Haien nodded and the old woman stroked her dead 
cat's coat. "And this one here," she began again, "in the 
winter when I sat at my work and the spinning wheel and 
hummed he sat beside me and hummed too and looked at 
me with his green eyes! And when I was cold and crept 
into bed — it was not long before he sprang up too and laid 
himself on my shivering legs and then we slept warm to- 
gether ! ' ' And the old woman looked at the old man stand- 
ing beside her at the table with smouldering eyes as if she 
wanted his assent to this memory. 

But Tede Haien said slowly : "I know a way to help you, 
Trien' Jans." He went to his strong box and took a silver 
coin out of the drawer. "You say that Hauke has robbed 
you of your pet and I know that you don't lie ; but here is a 
crownpiece of Christian IV. ; go and buy yourself a dressed 
lambskin to keep your legs warm. Besides, our cat will 
soon have kittens and you may pick out the largest of them. 
The two together ought to make up for an Angora tom-cat 
that is weak with old age. And now take the creature and 



THE RIDER OF THE WHITE HORSE 241 

carry it into town to the knacker, for aught I care, and 
hold your tongue about its having lain here on my respect- 
able table!" 

While he was speaking the woman had taken the crown 
and hidden it in a little bag that she wore under her skirts ; 
then she stuffed the cat back into the pillow-case, wiped the 
spots of blood from the table with her apron and stumped 
out of the door. "Don't forget about the young kitten," 
she called back as she went. 

Some time later, as old Haien was walking up and down 
in the little room, Hauke came in and threw his bright bird 
onto the table ; but when he saw the blood-stains which were 
still recognizable on its white, scoured top he asked with 
apparent carelessness, "What's that?" 

His father stood still. "That is the blood that you 
shed!" 

The boy flushed hotly. "Oh, has Trien' Jans been here 
with her cat?" 

The old man nodded. ' ' Why did you kill it ? " 

Hauke bared his torn arm. "That's why," he said; "he 
snatched my bird away from me. ' ' 

The old man said nothing. He began to walk up and 
down again for some time ; then he stopped in front of his 
son and looked at him absently. * ' I have settled the matter 
of the cat," he said after a moment, "but you see Hauke, 
this cottage is too small; two masters can't hold it — it is 
time now, you must get yourself something to do. ' ' 

"Yes, Father," replied Hauke; "I have thought the 
same myself." 

"Why?" asked the old man. 

"Well, a fellow boils within, if he has not enough to do 
to work it off. ' ' 

"So," said the old man, "and that's why you killed the 
Angora? That might easily lead to something worse!" 

"You may be right. Father; but the dikegrave has sent 
his servant-boy off ; I could do that work. ' ' 

The old man began to walk up and down again and 

Vol. XI— 16 



242 THE GEEMAN CLASSICS 

squirted a stream of black tobacco- juice from his mouth. 
* ' The dikegrave is a dunce, as stupid as an owl ! He is only 
dikegrave because his father and grandfather were dike- 
graves before him and because of his twenty-nine fens. 
When Martinmas comes round and the dike and sluice ac- 
counts have to be made up he feeds the schoolmaster on 
roast goose and mead and wheat-cracknels, and just sits 
there and nods when the other man runs over the columns 
of figures and says : "Yes, indeed, Schoolmaster, may God 
reward you! What a man you are at figures!" But if at 
any time the schoolmaster can't or won't, then he has to 
do it himself and he sits and writes and crosses out again, 
and his big stupid head grows red and hot and his eyes 
stand out like glass balls as if what little brain he has was 
trying to get. out there." 

The boy stood up straight before his father and was 
amazed that he could make such a speech; he had never 
heard him talk like that before. "Yes, he is stupid enough, 
God knows," he said; "but his daughter Elke, she can 
figure!" 

The old man looked at him sharply. * ' Oh ho, Hauke ! " he 
exclaimed, "what do you know of Elke Volkerts?" 

"Nothing, Father; only the schoolmaster told me so." 

The old man made no answer to this ; he merely shifted 
his tobacco quid slowly from one cheek to the other. "And 
you think," he said then, "that when you're there you will 
be able to help figure too." 

"Oh, yes. Father, I could do that all right," answered 
the son and his mouth quivered with earnestness. 

The old man shook his head: "Well, as far as I am 
concerned, you may try your luck!" 

"Thank you. Father!" said Hauke, and went up to the 
attic where he slept. There he seated himself on the side 
of the bed and thought and wondered why his father had 
questioned him about Elke Volkerts. He knew her of 
course, the slender eighteen-year-old girl with the narrow, 
brown-skinned face and the dark brows that met above the 



THE RIDER OF THE WHITE HORSE 243 

defiant eyes and narrow nose ; but he had scarcely spoken 
a word to her till now. Well, if he should go to work for 
old Tede Volkerts he would look at her more closely to 
see what kind of a girl she was. And he would go right 
away so that no one else should get the place ahead of 
him, for it was still quite early in the evening. And so he 
put on his Sunday suit and best boots and started on his 
way in good spirits. 

The long low house of the dikegrave could be seen from 
far away, for it stood on a high mound, and the highest tree 
in the village, a mighty ash, stood near it. In his youth the 
grandfather of the present dikegrave, the first one in the 
family, had planted such a tree to the east of the front 
door; but the first two saplings died and so, on his wed- 
ding morning, he had planted this tree which with its ever 
wider-spreading top still murmured in the unceasing wind, 
as it seemed, of by-gone days. 

When, some time later, Hauke's tall, overgrown form 
ascended the -high mound, the sides of which were planted 
with turnips and cabbages, he saw above him, standing 
beside the low door, the daughter of the master of the house. 
One of her somewhat thin arms hung loosely at her side, her 
other hand seemed to be feeling behind her for an iron ring, 
two of which were fastened to the wall, one on either side of 
the door, so that a rider coming to the house could tie up his 
horse. She seemed to be looking out over the dike to the 
sea where, in the still of evening, the sun was just sinking 
into the water and sending its last ray to gild the brown- 
skinned girl who stood there watching. 

Hauke slackened his steps and thought to himself : ' ' She 
does not look half bad that way ! ' ' And then he had already 
reached the top. "Good evening," he said going up to her, 
"what are your big eyes looking at now, Jungfer Elke?" 

"At something that happens here every evening," she 
replied, "but which caimot always be seen every evening." 
She let the ring drop from her hand so that it fell back 



244 THE GEEMAN CLASSICS 

clanging against the wall. "What do you want, Hauke 
Haien?" she asked. 

"Something that I hope won't displease you," he said. 
"Your father has turned out his servant-boy so I thought I 
might get the place." 

She looked him over from head to foot. "You still look 
rather too slight to be strong, Hauke," she said, "but two 
good eyes would serve us better than two good arms. " She 
looked at him with an almost lowering glance as she spoke, 
but Hauke did not falter. "Come along then," she went 
on, "the master is in the house, let us go in." 

The next day Tede Haien and his son entered the large 
room of the dikegrave. The walls were covered with glazed 
tiles on which to please the eye, there was here a ship 
under full sail or an anchor on the shore, there a recumbent 
ox before a peasant's house. This durable wall-covering 
was broken by an immense wall-bed, the doors of which 
were now closed, and a cupboard through the glass doors 
of which all sorts of china and silverware might be seen. 
Beside the door leading into the adjoining parlor a Dutch 
clock was let into the wall behind glass. 

The stout, somewhat apoplectic, master of the house sat 
in an armchair on a bright-colored woolen cushion at the 
end of a table that had been scoured until it shone. His 
hands were folded over his stomach and his round eyes were 
contentedly fixed on the skeleton of a fat duck; knife and 
fork lay on a plate in front of him. 

"Good day, Dikegrave," said Haien and the dikegrave 
slowly turned his head and eyes towards him. "Is it you, 
Tede?" he replied, and the fat duck he had just eaten had 
had its effect on his voice. ' ' Sit down, it's a long way over 
here from your house to mine!" 

"I've come," said Tede Haien, sitting down at right 
angles to the dikegrave on a bench that ran along the wall. 
"You've had trouble with your servant-boy and have 
agreed to take my boy in his place ! ' ' 



THE EIDEE OF THE WHITE HORSE 245 

The dikegrave nodded: "Yes, yes, Tede; but — ^what do 
you mean by trouble? We people from the marsh have 
something to take for that, thank God ! ' ' And he picked up 
the knife that lay before him and tapped the skeleton of 
the poor duck caressingly. "That was my favorite bird," 
he added with a comfortable laugh; "it would eat out of 
my hand!" 

"I thought," said old Haien not hearing the last words, 
"that the fellow did a lot of mischief in the stable." 

"Mischief? Yes, Tede ; mischief enough, to be sure ! The 
lazy mutton-head had not watered the calves, but he lay 
dead drunk in the hayloft and the creatures mooed with 
thirst the whole night, so that I had to lie in bed till noon 
to make up my sleep. No farm can go on that way ! ' ' 

"No, Dikegrave, but there is no danger of that where 
my son is concerned." 

Hauke stood against the door-post with his hands in his 
side pockets ; he had thrown his head back and was study- 
ing the window casing opposite him. 

The dikegrave raised his eyes and nodded to him : ' ' No, 
no, Tede," and now he nodded to the old man too, "your 
Hauke will not disturb my night's rest; the schoolmaster 
has already told me that he would rather sit before a slate 
and reckon than over a glass of spirits." 

Hauke did not listen to this speech of encouragement for 
Elke had come into the room and was clearing away the 
remains of the food from the table with her light, quick 
hands, glancing at him furtively with her dark eyes, as she 
did so. Now his glance too fell upon her. "By God," he 
said to himself, "she does not look half bad that way 
either." 

The girl had left the room. "You know, Tede," the 
dikegrave began again, "God has denied me a son." 

"Yes, Dikegrave, but do not let that trouble you," an- 
swered the other. "For the brains of a family are said to 
come to an end in the third generation; your grandfather, 



246 THE GERMAN CLASSICS 

as we all still know today, was the man who protected the 
land!" 

After thinking for some moments the dikegrave looked 
almost puzzled. "How do you mean that, Tede Haien?" 
he asked, and sat upright in his armchair; "I am in the 
third generation myself." 

"Oh, that's so! No offence, Dikegrave; that's just what 
people say." And Tede Haien with his lean form looked 
at the old dignitary with somewhat mischievous eyes. 

The latter went on unconcernedly: "You must not let 
old women's talk put such foolishness as that into your 
head, Tede Haien; you don't know my daughter, she can 
figure two or three times as well as I myself ! I only wan,ted 
to say that besides his work in the field your Hauke can 
gain considerable here in my room with pen or pencil and 
that won't do him any harm ! ' ' 

"Yes, indeed, Dikegrave, that he will; there you're quite 
right!" said old Haien and began to arrange for several 
benefits to be included in his son's contract which had not 
occurred to the boy the evening before. Thus besides the 
linen shirts that Hauke was to receive in the autumn in 
addition to his wages, he was also to have eight pairs of 
woolen stockings; then he was to help his father with the 
work at home for a week in the spring and so on. The dike- 
grave agreed to everything; Hauke Haien seemed to be 
just the right man for him. 

"Well, God have mercy on you, my boy," said the old 
man as soon as they left the house, "if you "are to learn 
from him how the world goes !" 

But Hauke answered quietly : "Let it be, Father ; every- 
thing will turn out all right." 

And Hauke was not wrong; the world, or what the world 
meant to him, did grow clearer to him the longer he stayed 
in that house. This was more the case perhaps, the less a 
superior judgment came to his aid, and the more he was 
obliged to depend on his own strength, on which he had been 



THE EIDEE OF THE WHITE HOESE 247 

accustomed to rely from the beginning. There was one 
person in the house to be sure whom he did not suit at all 
and that was Ole Peters, the head man, a capable workman 
but a fellow with a very ready tongue. The former lazy 
and stupid but stocky second man on whose back he had 
been able to load a whole barrel of oats and whom he could 
knock about as he chose had been more to his liking. He 
could not get at Hauke, who was much quieter and mentally 
far superior to him, in this way ; for Hauke had such a very 
peculiar way of looking at him. Nevertheless he managed 
to find work for him which might have been dangerous to 
his body as it was not yet firmly knit, and when he said: 
"You should have seen fat Niss; it was all play to him!" 
Hauke took hold with all his strength and managed to do 
the job even though he had to overexert himself. It was 
fortunate for him that Elke was generally able to counter- 
mand such orders either herself or through her father. We 
may well ask ourselves what it is that sometimes binds per- 
fect strangers to each other ; perhaps — they were both born 
mathematicians and the girl could not bear to see her com- 
rade ruined by doing rough work. 

The breach between the head man and his subordinate 
did not grow better in winter when, after Martinmas, the 
different dike accounts came in to be examined. 

It was on a May evening, but the weather was like No- 
vember ; inside the house the surf could be heard thundering 
out beyond the dike. "Here, Hauke," said the master of 
the house, ' ' come in here ; now you can show whether you 
can figure ! ' ' 

"I have got to feed the yearlings first. Master," replied 
Hauke. 

' ' Elke, ' ' called the dikegrave, ' ' where are you, Elke ? Go 
to Ole and tell him to feed the yearlings ; Hauke must come 
and figure!" 

And Elke hurried to the stable and gave the order to the 
head man, who was just occupied in putting away the har- 
ness that had been used that day. 



248 THE GERMAN CLASSICS 

Ole Peters took a snaffle and struck a post near which he 
was standing as if he would smash it to bits : ' ' The devil 
take the damned scribbling farm-hand!" She overheard 
the words as she closed the stable-door behind her, 

"Well?" asked her father as she came back into the 
room. 

"Ole is going to do it," she answered biting her lips a 
little, and sat down opposite Hauke on a coarsely carved 
wooden chair such as at that time the people here used to 
make in their own homes during the winter evenings. She 
took out of a drawer a white stocking with a red-bird pat- 
tern on it and went on knitting; the long-legged creatures 
in the pattern might have been herons or storks. Hauke sat 
opposite her deep in his calculations, the dikegfave himself 
rested in his armchair, blinking now and then sleepily at 
Hauke 's pen. As always in the dikegrave's house, two 
tallow-candles burned on the table and in front of the 
windows with their leaded glass the shutters were closed 
outside and screwed tight from within; the wind might 
bluster as it would. At times Hauke raised his head from 
his work and glanced for a moment at the stockings with 
the birds on them or at the narrow, quiet face of the girl. 

All at once a loud snore came from the armchair and a 
glance and a smile flew back and forth between the two 
young people; then followed gradually quieter breathing; 
one might have begun a little conversation, only Hauke did 
not know how. But as she stretched out her knitting and 
the birds became visible in their entirety he whispered 
across the table : 

' ' Where did you learn that, Elke ? ' ' 

"Learn what?" the girl asked back. 

"To knit birds?" asked Hauke. 

"Oh, that? From Trien' Jans, out at the dike, she can 
do all sorts of things; she served here once in my grand- 
father's time." 

"But you weren't born then, were you?" asked Hauke. 

"No, I hardly think I was; but she often came to the 
house afterwards." 



THE EIDEE OF THE WHITE HOESE 249 

' ' Is she so fond of birds 1 I thought she only liked oats. ' ' 

EIke shook her head. "She raises ducks, you know, and 
sells them ; but last spring after you killed her Angora, the 
rats got at the ducks in the back of the duck-house. Now 
she wants to build another one at the front of the house. ' ' 

"Oh!" said Hauke and gave a low whistle, drawing his 
breath in through his teeth, * ' That is why she has dragged 
all that clay and stone down from the upland. But if she 
does that she will build on the road on the inside of the 
dike ; has she got a permit?" 

"I don't know," said Elke; but Hauke had spoken the 
last word so loud that the dikegrave started up out of his 
slumber. "What permit?" he asked and looked almost 
wildly from one to the other. * * What is the permit for ? ' ' 

But when Hauke had explained the matter to him he 
tapped hiTTi on the shoulder laughing. ' ' Well, well, the in- 
side road is wide enough; God have mercy on the dike- 
grave if he has got to bother about every duckhouse as 
well!" 

It made Hauke 's heart heavy to think that he had been 
the means of delivering the old woman's ducklings up to 
the rats and he allowed himself to let the dikegrave 's excuse 
stand. "But Master," he began again, "there are some 
that would be better off for just a little nip and if you 
don't want to do it yourself just give the commissioner a 
nudge who is supposed to see that the dike regulations are 
carried out. ' ' 

"How, what's the lad saying?" and the dikegrave sat 
perfectly upright while Elke let her elaborate stocking fall 
and listened. 

"Yes, Master," Hauke went on, "you have already had 
the spring inspection; but all the same Peter Jansen has 
not harrowed out the weeds on his piece till today. In sum- 
mer the goldfinches will play merrily about the red thistle- 
blossoms there ! And close beside it there 's another piece 
— I don't know whom it belongs to — ^but there's a regular 
hollow in the dike on the outside. When the weather's 



250 THE GEEMAN CLASSICS 

« 

fine its always full of little children who roll about in it, 
but — God preserve us from high water!" 

The old dikegrave 's eyes had grown steadily bigger. 

"And then," began Hauke again. 

"Well, and what else, young man?" asked the dikegrave; 
"haven't you done yet?" and his voice sounded as if his 
second man had already said too much to please him, 

"Yes, and then, Master," went on Hauke, "you know 
that fat girl VoUina, the daughter of Harders, the com- 
missioner, who always fetches her father's horses home 
from the fens, — once she 's up on the old yellow mare with 
her fat legs then it 's: 'Cluck, cluck! Get up!' And 
that's the way she always rides, right up the slope of the 
dike!" 

Not till this moment did Hauke notice that Elke's wise 
eyes were fixed on him and that she was shaking her head 
gently. 

He stopped, but the blow that the old man gave the table 
with his fist thundered in his ears. ' ' The devil take it ! " he 
roared, and Hauke was almost frightened at the bellow that 
filled the room. "She shall be fined! Make a note of it, 
Hauke, that the fat wench is to be fined ! Last siunmer the 
hussy caught three of my young ducks! Go on, make a 
note of it," he repeated when Hauke hesitated; "I think 
she really got four!" 

"Oh, come. Father," said Elke, "don't you think it was 
the otter that took the young ducks?" 

' ' A giant otter ! ' ' the old man shouted snorting. ' ' I think 
I know that fat VoUina from an otter ! No, no, it was four 
ducks, Hauke. But as for the other things you've chat- 
tered about, last spring the chief dikegrave and I lunched 
together here in my house and then we went out and drove 
past your weeds and your hollow and we didn't see anything 
of the sort. But you two," and he nodded significantly 
towards his daughter and Hauke, "may well thank God that 
you are not a dikegrave! A man's only got two eyes and 
he's supposed to use a hundred. Just run through the 



THE EIDER OF THE WHITE HOESE 251 

accounts of the straw work on the dike, Hauke; those fel- 
lows' figures are often altogether too careless." 

Then he lay back again in his chair, settled his heavy 
body once or twice and soon fell into a contented sleep. 

Similar scenes took place on many an evening. Hauke 
had keen eyes and when he and the dikegrave were sitting 
together he did not fail to report this or that transgression 
or omission in matters relating to the dike, and as his 
master was not always able to shut his eyes, the manage- 
ment gradually became more active before anyone was 
aware of it, and those persons who formerly had kept on in 
their accustomed sinful rut, and now unexpectedly received 
a stroke across their mischievous or lazy fingers, turned 
round annoyed and surprised to see where it came from. 
And Ole, the head man, did not fail to spread the informa- 
tion far and near and thus to turn those circles against 
Hauke and his father, who, of course, was also responsible ; 
but the others, on whom no hand descended or who were 
actually anxious to see the thing done, laughed and rejoiced 
that the young man had succeeded in poking the old one 
up a bit. "It is only a pity," they said, "that the fellow 
hasn't the necessary clay under his feet; then later on he'd 
make a dikegrave like those that we used to have ; but the 
couple of acres that his father has would never be enough !" 

When in the following autumn the chief dikegrave, who 
was also the magistrate for the district, came to inspect, he 
looked old Tede Volkerts over from top to toe while the 
latter begged him to sit down to lunch. "Upon my word, 
Dikegrave," he said, "it's just as I expected, you've grown 
ten years younger; you've kept me busy this time with all 
your proposals; if only we can get done with them all 
today!" 

"We'll manage, we'll manage, your Worship," returned 
the old man with a smirk ; ' ' this roast goose here will give 
us strength; yes, thank God, I am always brisk and lively 
still I" He looked round the room to see if Hauke might 



252 THE GEEMAN CLASSICS 

not perhaps be somewhere about; then he added with dig- 
nity; "and I hope to God to be spared to exercise my office 
a few years longer. ' ' 

"And to that, my dear Dikegrave," replied his superior 
rising, "let us drink this glass together!" 

Elke, who had arranged the lunch, was just going out 
of the room door with a soft laugh as the two men clinked 
their glasses together. Then she fetched a dish of scraps 
from the kitchen and went through the stable to throw 
them to the fowls in front of the outside door. In the stable 
she found Hauke Haien just pitching hay into the cows' 
cribs, for the cattle had already been brought in for the 
winter owing to the bad weather. When he saw the girl 
coming he let his pitchfork rest on the ground. "Well, 
Elke! "he said. 

She stopped and nodded to him. "Oh, Hauke, you ought 
to have been in there just now ! ' ' 

"Should I? Why Elke?" 

"The chief dikegrave was praising the master!" 

' ' The master ? What has that got to do with me ? " 

"Well, of course, he praised the dikegrave !" 

A deep red spread over the young man's face. "I know 
what you are driving at, ' ' he said. 

"You needn't blush, Hauke; after all it was you whom 
the chief dikegrave praised!" 

Hauke looked at her half smiling. "But it was you too, 
Elke," he said. 

But she shook her head. "No, Hauke; when I was the 
only one that helped he didn't praise us. And all I can 
do is to figure ; but you see everything outside that the dike- 
grave ought to see himself ; you have cut me out ! ' ' 

"I didn't mean to, you least of all," said Hauke shyly, 
pushing aside one of the cows' heads. "Come, Spotty, 
don't eat up my fork; I'll give you all you want!" 

"Don't think that I am sorry," said the girl after think- 
ing a minute; "after all it's a man's business!" 



THE RIDER OF THE WHITE HORSE 253 

Hauke stretched out his arm towards her. "Give me 
your hand on it, Elke." 

A deep scarlet shot up under the girl's dark brows. 
' ' Why ? I don 't lie, " she cried. 

Hauke was about to answer, but she was already out of 
the stable, and standing with the pitchfork in his hand he 
could only hear the ducks and hens outside quacking and 
cackling around her. 

It was in January of the third year of Hauke 's service 
that a winter festival was to be held. "Eisboseln" (winter 
golf) they call it here. There had been no wind along the 
coast and a steady frost had covered all the ditches between 
the fens with a firm, smooth crystal surface so that the 
divided pieces of land now formed an extensive course over 
which the little wooden balls filled with lead, with which the 
goal was to be reached, could be thrown. A light north- 
east breeze blew day a,fter day. Everything was ready. 
The uplanders from the village lying to the east across the 
marsh and in which stood the church of the district, who 
had won the previous year, had been challenged and had 
accepted. Nine players had been picked out on each side. 
The umpire and the spokesmen had also been chosen. The 
latter, who had to discuss disputed points when a doubtful 
throw was in question, were generally men who knew how 
to present their case in the best light, usually fellows who 
had a ready tongue as well as common sense. First among 
these was Ole Peters, the dikegrave 's head man. ' ' See that 
you throw like devils," he said, "I'll do the talking for 
nothing. ' ' 

It was towards evening of the day before the festival. A 
number of the players had gathered in the inside room of 
the parish tavern on the uplands, to decide whether or not 
a few applicants who had come at the last minute should 
be accepted. Hauke Haien was among the latter. At first 
he had decided not to try, although he knew that his arms 
were well trained in throwing. He feared that Ole Peters, 



254 THE GERMAN CLASSICS 

who held a post of honor in the game, would succeed in 
having him rejected and he hoped to spare himself such a 
defeat. But Elke had changed his mind at the eleventh 
hour, "He wouldn't dare to, Hauke," she said; "he is 
the son of a day laborer ; your father has a horse and cow 
of his own and is the wisest man in the village as well." 

"Yes, but what if he should do it in spite of that?" 

She looked at him half smiling with her dark eyes. 
"Then," she said, "he'll get turned down when he wants 
to dance with his master's daughter in the evening." 
Thereupon Hauke had nodded to her with spirit. 

Outside the tavern the young people, who still wanted to 
enter the game, were standing in the cold, stamping their 
feet and looking up at the top of the church-tower, which 
was built of stone and stood beside the public-house. The 
pastor's pigeons, which fed in summer on the fields of the 
village, were just coming back from the peasants' yards 
and barns where they had sought their grain and were now 
disappearing into their nests under the eaves of the tower. 
In the west, above the sea, hung a glowing evening crimson. 

"It'll be good weather tomorrow!" said one of the young 
fellows walking up and down stamping, "but cold, cold!" 
Another, after he had seen the last pigeon disappear, went 
into the house and stood listening at the door of the room 
through which there now came the sound of lively conver- 
sation; the dikegrave's second man came and stood beside 
him. "Listen, Hauke, now they're shouting about you," 
and within they could distinctly hear Ole Peters' grating 
voice saying, "Second men and boys don't belong in it." 

"Come," said the other boy and taking Hauke by the 
sleeve he tried to pull him up to the door. ' ' Now you can 
hear what they think of you." 

But Hauke pulled himself away and went outside the 
house again. "They didn't lock us out so that we should 
hear what they said," he called back. 

The third applicant was standing in front of the house. 
"I'm afraid I shan't be taken without a hitch," he called 



THE EIDER OF THE WHITE HORSE 255 

to Hauke, "I am hardly eighteen years old; if only they 
don't ask for my baptismal certificate ! Your head man will 
talk you up all right, Hauke !" 

"Yes, up and out!" growled Hauke and kicked a stone 
across the way, "but not in." 

The noise inside increased ; then gradually it grew still ; 
those outside could hear again the gentle northeast wind 
as it swept by the top of the church tower. The boy who 
had been listening came back to the others. "Who were 
they talking about in there?" asked the eighteen-year-old 
boy. 

"Him," the other answered and pointed to Hauke; "Ole 
Peters tried to make out he was still a boy, but they were 
all against that. And Jess Hansen said, 'and his father 
has land and cattle.' 'Yes, land,' said Ole Peters, 'land 
that could be carted away on thirteen barrows!' Finally 
Ole Hensen began to speak: 'Keep still there,' he called, 
'I'll put you straight; tell me, who is the first man in the 
village?' They were all quiet a minute and seemed to be 
thinking, then someone said 'I suppose it's the dikegrave!' 
And all the others shouted, 'Well, yes; it must be the dike- 
grave!' 'And who is the dikegrave?' asked Ole Hensen 
again; 'and now think carefully!' Then one of them 
began to laugh softly and then another until at last the 
whole room was just full of laughter. 'Well, go call him 
then,' said Ole Hensen; 'you surely don't want to turn 
away the dikegrave from your door!' I think they're still 
laughing; but you can't hear Ole Peters' voice any more!" 
the boy finished his report. 

Almost at that moment the door of the room inside was 
flung open and loud, merry cries of "Hauke! Hauke 
Haien!" rang out into the cold night. 

So Hauke went into the house and did not stop to hear 
who the dikegrave was ; what had been going on in his head 
during these moments nobody ever knew. 

When, some time later, he approached his master's house 
he saw Elke standing down at the gate of the carriage- 



256 THE GEEMAN CLASSICS 

drive. The moonlight glistened over the immeasurable 
white-frosted pasture-land. "Are you standing here, 
Elke?" he asked. 

She only nodded: "What happened!" she said. "Did 
he dare!" 

"What would he not do?" 

"Well, and?" 

" It 's all right, Elke. I can try tomorrow. ' ' 

"Good-night, Hauke!" and she ran lightly up the mound 
and disappeared into the house. 

Hauke followed her slowly. 

On the following afternoon a dark mass of people was 
seen on the broad pasture-land that ran along towards the 
east on the land side of the dike. Sometimes the mass stood 
still, then, after a wooden ball had twice flown from it over 
the ground which the sun had now freed from frost, it 
moved gradually forward away from the long, low houses 
that lay behind it. The two parties of winter golfers were 
in the middle, surrounded by all the yoimg and old who were 
living or staying either in these houses or on the uplands. 
The older men were in long coats, smoking their short pipes 
with deliberation, the women in shawls and jackets, some 
of them leading children by the hand or carrying them in 
their arms. Out of the frozen ditches which were crossed 
one after another the pale shine of the noonday sun spar- 
kled through the sharp points of the reeds ; it was freezing 
hard. But the game went on uninterruptedly, and all eyes 
followed again and again the flying wooden ball, for the 
whole village felt that on it hung the honor of the day. 
The spokesman of the home side carried a white staff with 
an iron point, that of the upland party a black one. 
Wherever the ball ceased rolling this staff was driven into 
the frozen ground amid the quiet admiration or the mock- 
ing laughter of the opposing party and whoever first 
reached the goal with his ball won the game for his side. 

There was very little conversation in the crowd; only 
when a capital cast was made the young men or women 



THE RIDEE OF THE WHITE HORSE 257 

sometimes broke into a cheer, or one of the old men took 
his pipe out of his mouth and tapped the thrower with it 
on the shoulder, saying, ' ' That was a throw, said Zacharias, 
and threw his wife out of the attic window," or "That's 
how your father used to throw, may God have mercy on 
his soul ! " or some other pleasant words. 

The first time he cast luck had not been with Hauke; 
just as he threw his arm out behind him to hurl the ball a 
cloud which had covered the sun till then passed away 
from it and the dazzling rays struck him full in the eyes ; 
his cast was too short, the ball fell on a ditch and stuck in 
the uneven ice. 

"That doesn't count! That doesn't count! Throw 
again, Hauke ! ' ' shouted his partners. 

But the uplanders' spokesman objected: "It must 
count. What's cast is cast." 

"Ole! Ole Peters!" shouted the men from the marsh. 
"Where is Ole? Where the devil can he be?" 

But he was there already. "Don't shout so! Is there 
something wrong with Hauke? That's just how I thought 
it would be. ' ' 

"Oh, nonsense! Hauke must throw again; now show 
that you've got your mouth in the right place." 

"I certainly have that!" shouted Ole, and he went up 
to the other spokesman and made a long harangue. But 
the sharp cuts and witty points that usually filled his speech 
were lacking this time. At his side stood the girl with the 
enigmatical brows and watched him sharply with angry 
eyes ; but she might not speak for the women had no voice 
in the game. 

"You're talking nonsense," shouted the other spokes- 
man, "because reason is not on your side. Sun, moon and 
stars treat us all alike and are in the sky all the time; 
it was a clumsy cast and all clumsy casts count ! ' ' 

Thus they talked at each other for a while, but the end 
of it was that, according to the umpire's decision, Hauke 
was not allowed to repeat his cast. 

Vol. XI — 17 



258 THE GERMAN CLASSICS 

"Forward!" cried the uplanders and their spokesman 
pulled the black staff out of the ground and the next player 
took his stand there when his number was called and 
hurled the ball forward. In order to see the throw the 
dikegrave's head man was obliged to pass Elke Volkerts. 
"For whose sake did you leave your brains at home to- 
day?" she whispered to him. 

He looked at her almost fiercely and all trace of fun 
disappeared from his broad face. "For your sake," he 
said, "for you have forgotten yours too." 

' ' Oh, come I I know you, Ole Peters ! ' ' answered the girl 
drawing herself up, but he turned his head away and pre- 
tended not to hear. 

And the game and the black staff and the white one went 
on. When Hauke's turn to throw came again his ball flew 
so far that the goal, a large whitewashed hogshead, came 
plainly into sight. He was now a solidly built young fel- 
low and mathematics and throwing had occupied him daily 
since he was a boy. "Oh ho ! Hauke !" the crowd shouted; 
"the archangel Michael could not have done better him- 
self!" An old woman with cakes and brandy made her 
way through the crowd to him; she poured out a glass 
and offered it to him: "Come," she said, "let us be 
friends ; you are doing better today than when you killed 
my cat!" As he looked at her he saw that it was Trien' 
Jans. "Thank you. Mother," he said; "but I don't drink 
that stuff." He felt in his pockets and pressed a newly 
coined mark-piece into her hand. "Take that and drink 
this glass yourself, Trien'; then we shall be friends 
again!" 

"You're right, Hauke!" returned the old woman obeying 
him. "You're right; it is better for an old woman like me 
than for you!" 

"How are you getting on with your ducks?" he called 
after her as she was going away with her basket; but she 
only shook her head without turning round and clapped her 
old hands in the air. "It's no good, Hauke; there are too 



THE KIDEE OF THE WHITE HORSE 259 

many rats in your ditches ; God have mercy on me ! I must 
find some other way of earning my bread. ' ' And with this 
she pushed her way into the crowd again, offering her 
spirits and honey-cakes as she went. 

At last the sun had sunk behind the dike and in its place 
had left a reddish violet glow that flamed up into the sky ; 
now and then black crows flew by and seemed for the 
moment to be of gold ; it was evening. On the fields how- 
ever the dark crowd of people kept on moving farther and 
farther away from the black houses in the distance behind 
them towards the hogshead; an exceptionally good cast 
might reach it now. It was the marsh party's turn and 
Hauke was to throw. 

The chalky hojgshead stood out white in the broad 
shadows that now fell from the dyke across the course. 
"You'll have to leave it to us, this time!" cried one of the 
uplanders, for the contest was hot and they were at least 
ten feet in advance. 

Hauke 's tall, lean figure stepped out of the crowd; the 
gray eyes in his long Friesian face were fixed on the hogs- 
head ; his hand, which hung at his side, held the ball. 

"The bird's too big for you, eh?" came the grating 
voice of Ole Peters close to his ear, "shall we exchange it 
for a gray pot?" 

Hauke turned and looked at him steadily. "I'm throw- 
ing for the marsh," he said. "Where do you belong?" 

"To the marsh too, I imagine; but you are throwing 
for Elke Volkerts, eh?" 

"Stand aside!" shouted Hauke and took his position 
again. But Ole pressed forward with his head still nearer 
to him. Then suddenly, before Hauke himself could do 
anything, a hand gripped the intruder and pulled him 
backwards so that he stumbled against his laughing com- 
rades. It was not a large hand that did so, for as Hauke 
hastily turned his head he saw Elke Volkerts beside him 
pulling her sleeve to rights, and her dark brows were 
drawn angrily across her hot face. 



260 THE GEEMAN CLASSICS 

The power of steel shot into Hauke 's arm ; he bent for- 
ward a little, weighed the ball in his hand once or twice, 
then he drew his arm back and a dead silence fell on both 
sides; all eyes followed the flying ball, it could be heard 
whistling through the air; suddenly, far away from the 
spot where it was thrown, the silver wings of a gull hid it 
as, shrieking, the bird flew across from the dike. But at 
tiie same moment it was heard in the distance striking 
against the hogshead. "Hurrah for Hauke!" shouted the 
marshlanders and the news ran loudly through the crowd : 
"Hauke! Hauke Haien has won the game!" 

But Hauke himself as they all crowded about him had 
only felt for a hand at his side and even when they called 
again: "What are you waiting for, Hauke? Your ball is 
lying in the hogshead!" he only nodded and did not move 
from the spot; not until he felt the little hand clasp his 
firmly did he say: "I believe you're right; I think I've 
won!" 

Then the whole crowd streamed back and EIke and 
Hauke were separated and swept along by the crowd 
towards the tavern on the road that turned up by the dike- 
grave 's mound towards the uplands. But here they both 
escaped and while Elke went up to her room Hauke stood 
at the back, in front of the stable door and watched the 
dark mass of people wandering up to the tavern, where a 
room was ready for the dancers. Night gradually fell over 
the open country; it grew stiller and stiller about him, only 
behind him he could hear the cattle moving in the stable ; he 
fancied he could already catch the sound of the clarinets in 
the tavern on the uplands. All at once he heard the rustle 
of a gown round the corner of the house and firm little 
steps went down the footway that led through the fens up 
onto the uplands. Now, in the dusk, he could see the figure 
swinging along and he knew that it was Elke ; she too was 
going to the dance in the tavern. The blood rushed up 
into his throat; should he not run after her and go with 
her? But Hauke was no hero where women were con- 



THE EIDER OF THE WHITE HOESE 261 

cerned; weighing this question he remained standing till 
she had disappeared from his sight in the dark. 

Then, when the danger of overtaking her had passed, he 
too went the same way till he reached the tavern up by the 
church, and the talking and shouting of the crowd before 
the house and in the passage, and the shrill tones of the 
violins and clarinets within, surrounded him with a deafen- 
ing noise. Unnoticed he made his way into the "guild- 
hall." It was not large and was so full that he could 
scarcely see a step in front of him. In silence he stood 
leaning against the door-jamb and watched the moving 
throng ; the people seemed to him like fools ; he did not need 
to fear either that anyone would think of the struggle in 
the afternoon or of who had won the game an hour ago. 
Each man had eyes only for his girl and turned round and 
round with her in a circle. He was seeking for one only 
and at last — there she was! She was dancing with her 
cousin, the young dike commissioner — ^but she had already 
disappeared again and he could see only other girls from 
the marsh and the uplands for whom he cared nothing. 
Then suddenly the violins and the clarinets ceased and the 
dance was at an end; but already another was beginning. 
The thought passed through Hauke's mind whether Elke 
would really keep her word, if she might not dance past 
him with Ole Peters. He almost screamed at the idea ; then 
— ^well, what would he do then? But she did not seem to 
be dancing this dance at all and at last it came to an end 
and another, a two-step, which was just beginning to be 
popular then, followed. The music started with a mad 
flourish, the young fellows rushed up to the girls, the lights 
on the walls flared. Hauke nearly dislocated his neck try- 
ing to distinguish the dancers ; and there, the third couple, 
was Ole Peters and — but who was the girl? A broad fellow 
from the marsh stood in front of her and hid her face. 
But the dance went on madly and Ole and his partner cir- 
cled out where he could see them. "VoUina! Vollina 
Harders ! ' ' Hauke almost shouted aloud and gave a sigh of 



262 THE GEEMAN CLASSICS 

relief. But where was Elke? Had she no partner or had 
she refused them all because she did not want to dance 
with Ole? The music stopped again and then a new dance 
began but still he did not see her. There was Ole, still 
with his fat VoUina in his arms! "Well," said Hauke to 
himself, "it looks as if Jess Harders with his twenty-five 
acres would soon have to retire! But where is Elke?" 

He left the door and pushed his way further into the 
room; suddenly he found himself standing before her as 
she sat with an older friend in a corner. "Hauke!" she 
exclaimed, raising her narrow face to look at him; "are 
you here? I didn't see you dancing!" 

"I haven't danced," he replied. 

"Why not, Hauke?" and half rising she added: "Will 
you dance with me? I wouldn't with Ole Peters; he won't 
come again!" 

But Hauke made no move to begin. "Thank you, Elke," 
he said, "but I don't know how well enough; they might 
laugh at you ; and then * * * " he broke off suddenly and 
looked at her with feeling in his gray eyes as if he must 
leave it to them to finish what he would say. 

"What do you mean, Hauke?" she asked softly. 

"I mean, Elke, that the day can have no happier ending 
for me than it has had already." 

"Yes," she said, "you won the game." 

"Elke!" he said with scarcely audible reproach. 

A hot red flamed up into her face. "There!" she said, 
"what do you want?" and dropped her eyes. 

A partner now came and claimed her friend and after 
she had gone Hauke spoke louder. "I thought I had won 
something better, Elke!" 

Her eyes searched the floor a few seconds longer; then 
she raised them slowly and a glance, filled with the quiet 
strength of her being, met his and ran through him like 
summer warmth. "Do as your feeling tells you, Hauke," 
she said; "we ought to know each other!" 

Elke did not dance again that evening and when they 



THE EIDEE OF THE WHITE HORSE 263 

went home they went hand in hand ; from the sky above the 
stars sparkled over the silent marsh ; a light east wind blew 
and made the cold severe, but the two walked on without 
many wraps as if spring had suddenly come. 

Hauke had thought of something, to be used perhaps 
only in the uncertain future, but with which he hoped to 
celebrate a secret festival. Accordingly he went to town 
the next Sunday to the old goldsmith Andersen and ordered 
a thick gold ring. ' ' Stretch out your finger till I measure 
it," said the old man and took hold of Hauke *s third finger. 
"It's not as big as most of you people have," he went on. 
But Hauke said: "I'd rather you measured my little 
finger, ' ' and he held it out to him. 

The goldsmith looked at him somewhat puzzled ; but what 
did he care what the whim of a young peasant might be. 
"We'll probably find one among the ladies' rings," he 
said, and the blood mounted into Hauke 's cheeks. But 
the ring fitted his little finger and he took it hastily and 
paid for it with bright silver. Then, with his heart beat- 
ing loudly and as if it were a solemn act, he put it into 
his waistcoat pocket. And from then on he carried it there 
day by day with a restless yet proud feeling, as if his 
waistcoat pocket were made only to carry a ring in. 

So he carried it for years, in fact, the ring had to leave 
that pocket for a new one; no opportunity to escape pre- 
sented itself. It had indeed passed through Hauke 's head 
to go straight to his master; after all, his father belonged 
in the village and held land there. But in his calmer 
moments he knew well that the old dikegrave would have 
laughed at his second man. And so he and the dikegrave 's 
daughter lived on side by side, she in girlish silence, and 
yet both as if they walked hand in hand. 

A year after the winter festival Ole Peters had left the 
dikegrave 's service and married VoUina Harders; Hauke 
had been right ; thie old man had retired and instead of his 
fat daughter his brisk son-in-law now rode the yellow mare 



264 THE GEEMAN CLASSICS 

to the fens and on Ms way back, it was said, always up the 
side of the dike. Hauke was now head man and a younger 
fellow had taken his former place. At first the dikegrave 
had not wanted to advance him. "He's better as second 
man, ' ' he had growled, * ' I need him here with my books ! ' ' 
But Elke had said, "Then Hauke would leave, Father!" 
That frightened the old man and Hauke had been made 
head man but he still kept on as before helping in the 
administration of the dike. 

After another year had passed he began to talk to Elke 
about his father's growing feeble, and explained that the 
few days that the master allowed him in summer in which 
to help at home were no longer enough; the old man was 
overworking himself and he, Hauke, could not stand by and 
see it go on. It was a summer evening ; the two were stand- 
ing in the twilight under the great ash in front of the door 
of the house. For a time the girl looked up in silence at 
the bough of the tree ; then she answered, * ' I did not want 
to say it, Hauke ; I thought you would find the right thing 
to do yourself. 

' ' Then I must go away out of your house, ' ' he said, ' ' and 
cannot come again." 

They were silent for a time and watched the sunset glow 
that was just sinking into the sea over behind the dike. 
"You must know best," she said; "I was at your father's 
this morning and found him asleep in his armchair; he 
had a drawing-pen in his hand and the drawing-board with 
a half finished drawing lay before him on the table. After- 
wards he woke and talked to me for a quarter of an hour 
but only with difficulty, and then, when I was going, he 
clung to my hand as if he were afraid that it was for the 
last time; but * * *" 

"But what, Elke?" asked Hauke, as she hesitated to 
go on. 

A few tears ran down over the girl's cheeks. "I was 
only thinking of my father," she said; "believe me, it will 
be hard for him to lose you." And with an effort she 



THE EIDER OF THE WHITE HOESE 265 

added: "It often seems to me as if he too were preparing 
for Ms end. ' ' 

Hauke did not answer; it seemed to him as if the ring 
in his pocket suddenly moved but before he could suppress 
his indignation at this involuntary stir Elke went on : " No, 
don't be angry, Hauke! I trust and believe that even so 
you will not forsake us ! " 

At that he seized her hand eagerly and she did not draw 
it away. For some time longer the two stood there together 
in the growing dusk till their hands slipped apart and they 
went their different ways. A gust of wind struck the ash- 
tree and rustled through its leaves, rattling the shutters 
on the front of the house ; but gradually the night fell and 
silence lay over the vast plain. 

The old dikegrave yielded to Elke's persuasion and al- 
lowed Hauke to leave his service although the latter had 
not given notice at the proper time. Two new men had 
since been engaged. A few months later Tede Haien died, 
but before he died he called his son to his bed: "Sit down 
here beside me, child," he said in a feeble voice, "close be- 
side me ! You need not be afraid ; the one who is with me 
is only the dark angel of the Lord who has come to call 
me." 

And the grief-stricken son sat down close to the dark 
wall-bed: "Speak, Father, tell me all that you still have to 
say!" 

"Yes, my son, there is still something," said the old 
man and stretched out his hands on the counterpane. 
"When you, only a half -grown boy, went into the dike- 
grave's service you had it in your mind to be a dikegrave 
yourself some day. You infected me with the idea and 
gradually I too came to think that you were the right 
man for that. But your inheritance was too small for you 
to hold such an office. I have lived frugally during the 
time you were in service. I thought to increase it." 

Hauke pressed his father's hands warmly and the old 
man tried to sit up so that he could see him. "Yes, my 



266 THE GEEMAN CLASSICS 

son," hie said, "the paper is there in the top drawer of the 
strong chest. You know, old Antje Wohlers had a field of 
five and a half acres ; but in her crippled old age she could 
not get on with the rent from it alone ; so every Martinmas 
I gave the poor creature a certain sum and more too, 
when I had it; and for that she made over the field to me; 
it is all legally arranged. Now she too is lying at the point 
of death; the disease of our marshes, cancer, has over- 
taken her ; you will not have anything more to pay ! ' ' 

He closed his eyes for a time; then he added: "It isn't 
much; but still you will have more than you were accus- 
tomed to with me. May it serve you for your life in this 
world!" 

Listening to his son's thanks the old man fell asleep. He 
had nothing more to attend to, and a few days later the 
angel of the Lord had closed his eyes forever, and Hauke 
came into his paternal inheritance. 

On the day after the funeral Elke came to his house. 
"Thank you for looking in, Elke!" was Hauke 's greeting. 

But she answered : "I am not just looking in ; I want to 
tidy the house a little so that you can live in comfort. 
With all his figures and drawings your father had not time 
to look about him much and death too brings confusion; 
I'll make it a little homelike for you again!" 

He looked at her with his gray eyes full of trust:- "Tidy 
up, then," he said; "I like it better too." 

And so she began to clear up the room. The drawing- 
board which still lay there was dusted and put away in the 
attic. Drawing-pens, pencils and chalk were carefully 
looked away in a drawer of the strong chest. Then the 
young servant was called in and helped to move the furni- 
ture of the whole room into a different and better posi- 
tion so that there seemed to be more light and space. 
"Only we women can do that," said Elke, smiling, and 
Hauke, in spite of his grief for his father, looked on with 
happy eyes and helped too when it was necessary. 

And when, towards twilight — it was at the beginning of 



THE EIDER OF THE WHITE HORSE 2.67 

September — everything was as she wanted it for him, she 
took his hand and nodded to him with her dark eyes. ' ' Now 
come and have supper with us ; I had to promise my father 
to bring you back with me ; then when you come home later 
everything will be ready for you. ' ' 

"When they entered the spacious living-room of the dike- 
grave, where the shutters were already closed and the two 
lights burning on the table, the old man started to get up 
out of his armchair but his heavy body sank back again 
and he contented himself with calling out to his former 
servant: "That's right, Hauke, I'm glad you've come to 
look up your old friends again ! Just come nearer, nearer ! ' ' 
And when Hauke came up to his chair he took his hand in 
both his podgy ones and said: "Well, well, my boy, don't 
grieve too much, for we must all die and your father was 
not one of the worst ! But, come, Elke, bring the roast in ; 
we need to strengthen ourselves! There is a lot of work 
ahead of us, Hauke ! The autumn inspection is coming on ; 
the dike and sluice accounts are piled as high as the house ; 
then there's the recent damage to the dike on the western 
koog — I don't know which way to turn my head; but yours, 
thank God, is a good bit younger; you are a good lad, 
Hauke!" 

And after this long speech in which the old man had laid 
bare his whole heart, he fell back in his chair and blinked 
longingly at the door through which Elke was just enter- 
ing with the roast. Hauke stood beside him smiling. "Now 
sit down," said the dikegrave; "we mustn't waste time; 
this dish doesn't taste good cold." 

And Hauke sat d6wn ; it seemed to him a matter of course 
that he should share in Elke's father's work. And when 
later the autumn inspection came and a few months more 
had been added to the year, he had really done the greater 
part of it. 

The narrator stopped and looked about him. The shriek 
of a gull had struck the window and outside in the entrance 



268 THE GEEMAN CLASSICS 

the stamping of feet was heard as if someone were shaking 
off the clay from his heavy boots. 

The dikegrave and the commissioners turned their heads 
towards the door. "What is it?" exclaimed the former. 

A stout man with a sou'wester on his head entered. 
"Sir," he announced, "we both saw it, Hans Nickels and I: 
the rider of the white horse has thrown himself into the 
water-hole ! ' ' 

"Where did you see that?" asked the dikegrave. 

"There is only the one hole; in Jansen's fen where the 
Hauke Haien Koog begins." 

"Did you only see it once?" 

"Only once; and it only looked like a shadow; but that 
doesn 't mean that it was the first time. ' ' 

The dikegrave had risen. "You will excuse me," he 
said, turning to me, "we must go out and see where the 
mischief is brewing." He went out with the messenger 
and the rest of the company rose too and followed him. 

I was left alone with the schoolmaster in the large bare 
room; we now had a clear view through the uncurtained 
windows which were no longer hidden by people sitting in 
front of them, and could see how the wind was driving the 
dark clouds across the sky. The old man still sat in his 
place, a superior, almost compassionate smile on his lips. 
"It has grown too empty here," he said, "will you come 
upstairs with me to my room? I live here in the house, 
and, believe me, I know the weather here near the dike; 
we have nothing to fear for ourselves." 

I accepted gratefully; for I too was beginning to feel 
chilly there, and after taking a light we climbed the stairs 
to an attic-room which did indeed look towards the west 
like the other, but whose windows were now covered with 
dark woolen hangings. In a bookcase I saw a small col- 
lection of books and beside it the portraits of two old 
professors; in front of a table stood a large easy-chair. 
"Make yourself at home," said my friendly host and threw 
a few pieces of peat into the still faintly burning stove, 



THE RIDER OF THE WHITE HORSE 269 

on the top of which stood a tin kettle. "Just a few min- 
utes! It will soon begin to sing and then I will brew a 
glass of grog for us ; that will keep you awake." 

"I don't need that," I answered; "I don't grow sleepy- 
following your Hauke on his way through life." 

"Really?" and he nodded to me with his wise eyes after 
I had been comfortably settled in his easy chair. "Let me 
see, where were we ? Oh yes, I know. Well then ! ' ' 

Hauke had come into his paternal inheritance', and as old 
Antje Wohlers had also succumbed to her illness, her field 
had increased it. But since the death, or, rather, since the 
last words of his father, something had grown up in him, 
the seed of which he had carried in his heart since his boy- 
hood; more than often enough he repeated to himself that 
he was the right man when there should have to be a new 
dikegrave. That was it. His father who surely understood 
it, who, in fact, had been the wisest man in the village, had, 
as it were, added these -v^ords to his inheritance as a final 
gift; Antje Wohlers' field, which he also owed to him, 
should form the first stepping-tone to this height. For, to 
be sure, a dikegrave must be able to point to far more 
extensive property than this alone. But his father had 
lived frugally for lonely years and had bought this new 
possession with the money thus saved ; he could do that too, 
he could do more than that; for his father's strength had 
been gone, while he could still do the hardest work for 
years to come. Of course, even if he did succeed in that 
way, yet the keen edge that he had put on his old master's 
administration had not made friends for him in the village, 
and Ole Peters, his old antagonist, had lately come into an 
inheritance and was beginning to be a well-to-do man. A 
number of faces passed before his inward vision and they 
all looked at him with unfriendly eyes ; then wrath against 
these people took hold of him and he stretched out his arms 
as if he would seize them; for they wanted to keep him 
from the office to which he alone was suited. And these 
thoughts did not leave him ; they were always there and so 



270 THE GEEMAN CLASSICS 

side by side with honor and love there grew np ambition 
and hatred in his young heart. But he hid them deep 
within him ; even Elke did not suspect their existence. 

With the coming of the New Year there was a wedding. 
The bride was a relative of the Haiens, and Hauke and 
Elke were both there as invited guests; in fact they sat 
side by side at the wedding breakfast owing to the failure 
of a nearer relative to come. Only the smile that passed 
over both their faces betrayed their joy at this. But Elke 
sat listless in the noise of the conversation and the clatter 
of glasses that went on about them. 

"Is there something the matter?" asked Hauke. 

"Oh, no, not really; there are only too many people here 
for me." 

"But you look so sad!" 

She shook her head ; then they were both silent again. 

Gradually a feeling as if he were jealous because of her 
silence grew in him and he took her hand secretly under 
cover of the tablecloth; it did not start but closed confid- 
ingly round his. Had a feeling of loneliness taken hold of 
her as she watched her father growing older and weaker 
day by day? Hauke did not think of putting this question 
to himself but he ceased to breathe now as he drew the gold 
ring from his pocket. * * Will you leave it there ? " he asked, 
trembling as he slipped it onto the third finger of her 
slender hand. 

The pastor's wife was sitting opposite them at the table; 
suddenly she laid down her fork and turned to her neigh- 
bor: "Good gracious, look at that girl!" she exclaimed, 
"she's pale as death!" 

But the blood was already coming back into Elke's face. 
"Can. you wait, Hauke?" she asked softly. 

The prudent Friesian stopped to think for a moment 
"For what?" he said then. 

' ' You know well ; I don 't need to tell you. ' ' 

"You are right," he said; "yes, Elke, I can wait — if only 
the time's within reason!" 



THE EIDEE OF THE WHITE HOESE 271 

"Oh God, I'm afraid it's near! Don't speak like that, 
Hauke, you are talking of my father's death!" She laid 
the other hand on her breast: "Till then," she said, "I 
will wear the ring here ; never fear, you will never get it 
back as long as I live. ' ' 

Then they both smiled and his hand pressed hers so that 
at any other time the girl would have screamed aloud. 

During this time the pastor's wife had been looking 
steadily at Elke's eyes which now burned as with dark 
fire beneath the lace edging of her little gold-brocaded cap. 
But the increasing noise at the table had prevented the 
older woman from understanding anything that was said ; 
she did not turn to her neighbor again either, for budding 
marriage's — and that is what this looked like to her — even 
if it were only because of the fee that budded for her hus- 
band at the same time, she was not in the habit of dis- 
turbing. 

Elke's premonition had come true. One morning after 
Easter the dikegrave Tede Volkerts had been found dead 
in his bed ; his countenance bore witness to a peaceful end. 
He had often spoken in the previous months of being tired 
of life and had had no appetite for his favorite dish, a roast 
joint, or even for a young duck. 

And now there was a great funeral in the village. In 
the burying ground about the church on the upland, lying 
towards the west, was a lot surrounded by an iron fence. 
In it the broad, blue grave-stone had been lifted up and was 
now leaning against a weeping ash. A figure of Death 
with a very full and prominent set of teeth had been 
chiseled on the stone and below stood in large letters : 

Dat is de Dot, de aliens fritt, 
Nimmt Kunst un Wetenschop di mit; 
De kloke Mann is nu vergSn 
Gott gaw em selik Uperstln. 

This is Death who eats up all, 
Art and science go at his call; 
The clever man has left us forlorn 
God raise him on resurrection mom! 



272 THE GEEMAN CLASSICS 

This was the resting place of the former dikegrave, 
Volkert Tedsen. Now a new grave had been dug in which 
his son, the dikegrave Tede Volkerts, was to be laid. The 
funeral procession was already coming up from the marsh 
below, a throng of carriages from all the villages in the 
parish; the one at the head bore the heavy coffin, the two 
glossy black horses from the dikegrave 's stables were 
already drawing it up the sandy slope to the uplands ; the 
horses' manes and tails waved in the brisk spring breeze. 
The churchyard was filled to the walls with people, even 
on top of the brick gate boys squatted with little children 
in their arms ; all were anxious to see the burying. 

In the house down on the marsh Elke had prepared the 
funeral repast in the living-room and the adjoining parlor; 
old wine stood at every place ; there was a bottle of Lang- 
kork for the chief dikegrave — for he too had not failed to 
come to the ceremony — and another for the pastor. When 
everything was ready she went through the stable out to 
the back door; she met no one on her way; the men had 
gone with the carriages to thefuneral. There she stood, her 
mourning clothes fluttering in the spring breeze, and looked 
across to the village where the last carriages were just 
driving up to the church. After a while there was a com- 
motion there and then followed a dead silence. Elke folded 
her hands ; now they were probably lowering the coffin into 
the grave: "And to dust thou shalt return!" Involun- 
tarily, softly, as if she could hear them from the church- 
yard she repeated the words ; then her eyes filled with tears, 
her hands which were folded across her breast sank into 
her lap ; * ' Our Father, who art in heaven ! ' ' she prayed with 
fervor. And when she had finished the Lord's prayer she 
stood there long, immovable, she, from now on the owner 
of this large lowland farm; and thoughts of death and of 
life began to strive within her. 

A distant rumble roused her. When she opened her eyes 
she saw again one carriage following the other in rapid 
succession, driving down from the marsh and coming to 



THE EIDER OF THE WHITE HORSE 273 

wards her farm. She stood upright, looked out once more 
with a keen glance and then went back, as she had come, 
through the stable and into the solemnly prepared living 
rooms. There was no one here either, only through the 
wall she could hear the bustle of the maids in the kitchen. 
The banquet table looked so still and lonely; the mirror 
between the windows was covered with white cloth, so were 
the brass knobs of the warming-oven ; there was nothing to 
shine in the room any more. Elke noticed that the doors 
of the wall-bed in which her father had slept for the last 
time were open and she went over and closed them tight; 
absently she read the words painted on them in gold letters 
among the roses and pinks : 

"Hest du din Dagwerk richtig dan 
Da kommt de SlSp von siilvst heran." 

If you have done your day's work right 
Sleep will come of itself at night. 

That was from her grandfather's time! She glanced at 
the cupboard ; it was almost empty but through the glass- 
doors she could see the cut-glass goblet which, as he had 
been fond of telling, her father had won once in his youth 
tilting in the ring. She took it out and stood it at the 
chief dikegrave's place. Then she went to the window, for 
already she could hear the carriages coming up the drive. 
One after another stopped in front of the house, and, more 
cheerful than when they first came, the guests now sprang 
down from their seats to the ground. Rubbing their hands 
and talking, they all crowded into the room ; it was not long 
before they had all taken their places at the festive table on 
which the well-cooked dishes were steaming, the chief dike- 
grave and the pastor in the parlor ; noise and loud conver- 
sation ran along the table as if the dreadful silence of death 
had never hovered here. Silently, her eyes on her guests, 
Elke went round with the maids among the tables to see 
that nothing was missing. Hauke Haien too sat in the 
living-room besides Ole Peters and other small landowners. 

Vol. XI — 18 



274 THE GERMAN CLASSICS 

After the meal was over the white clay pipes were fetched 
out of the corner ajid lighted and Elke was busy again 
passing the coffee cups to her guests, for she did not spare 
with that either today. In the living-room, at her father's 
desk, the chief dikegrave was standing in conversation with 
the pastor and the white-haired dike commissioner Jewe 
Manners. "It is all very well, Gentlemen," said the for- 
mer, "we have laid the old dikegrave to rest with honors; 
but where shall we find a new one ? I think, Manners, you 
will have to take the dignity upon you!" 

Smiling, the old man raised the black velvet cap from 
his white hair: "The game would be too short, Sir," he 
said; "when the deceased Tede Volkerts was made dike- 
grave, I was made commissioner and I have been it now 
for forty years ! ' ' 

* ' That is no fault, Manners ; you know the dike affairs so 
much the better and will have no trouble with them ! ' ' 

But the old man shook his head: "No, no, your Grace, 
leave me where I am and I can keep on in the game for 
another few years yet ! ' ' 

The pastor came to his aid. "Why," he said, "do we 
not put into office the man who has really exercised it in 
the last years?" 

The chief dikegrave looked at him. "I don't understand 
you, pastor." 

The pastor pointed into the parlor where Hauke seemed 
to be explaining something to two older men in a slow 
earnest way. "There he stands," he said, "the tall 
Friesian figure with the clever gray eyes beside his lean 
nose and the two bumps in his forehead above them! He 
was the old man's servant and now has a little piece of his 
own ; of course, he is still rather young ! ' ' 

"He seems to be in the thirties," said the chief dikegrave, 
measuring Hauke with his eyiss. 

"He is scarcely twenty-four," returned Commissioner 
Manners; "but the pastor is right; all the good proposals 
for the dike and drain work and so on that have come from 



THE EIDER OP THE WHITE HORSE 275 

the dikegrave 's office during the last years have come from 
him; after all, the old man didn't amount to much towards 
the end." 

"Indeed?" said the chief dikegrave; "and you think 
that he would be the man now to move up into his old mas- 
ter 's place ? ' ' 

"He would be the man," answered Jewe Manners; "but 
he lacks what we call here 'clay under his feet'; his father 
had about fifteen, he may have a good twenty acres; but 
no one here has ever been made dikegrave on that. ' ' 

The pastor opened his mouth as if he were about to speak, 
when Elke Volkerts, who had been in the room for some 
little time, suddenly came up to them. "Will your Grace 
allow me a word?" she said to the chief officer, "it is only 
so that an error may not lead to a wrong!" 

"Speak out. Miss Elke!" he answered; "wisdom always 
sounds well from a pretty girl's mouth." 

" — It is not wisdom, your Grace; I only want to tell the 
truth." 

"We ought to be able to listen to that too, Jungfer 
Elke." 

The girl's dark eyes glanced aside again as if she wanted 
to reassure herself that no superfluous ears were near. 
"Your Grace," she began then, and her breast rose with 
strong emotion, "my godfather, Jewe Manners, told you 
that Hauke Haien only possesses about twenty acres, and 
that is true for the moment; but as soon as is necessary 
Hauke will have as many more acres as there are in my 
father 's farm which is now mine ; this with what he now has 
ought to be * * *" 

Old Manners stretched his white head towards her as if 
he were looking to see who it was that spoke. "What's 
that?" he said, "what are you saying, child?" 

Elke drew a little black ribbon out of her bodice with a 
shining gold ring on the end of it. "I am engaged, God- 
father," she said; "here is the ring, and Hauke Haien is 
my betrothed." 



276 THE GEEMAN CLASSICS 

"And when — 1 suppose I may ask since I held you at the 
font, Elke Volkerts— when did this happen?" 

"It was some time ago, but I was of age. Godfather 
Manners," she said; "my father was already growing 
feeble and, as I knew him, I did not want to trouble him 
with it; now that he is with God he will see that his child 
is well cared for with this man. I should have said nothing 
about it till my year of mourning was over, but now, for 
Hauke's sake and on account of the koog, I have had to 
speak." And turning to the chief dikegrave she added: 
"Your Grace will pardon me, I hope!" 

The three men looked at one another. The pastor 
laughed, the old commissioner contented himself with mur- 
muring "Hum, hum!" while the chief dikegrave rubbed 
his forehead as if he were concerned with an important 
decision. ' ' Yes, my dear girl, ' ' he said at last, ' ' but how is 
it with the matrimonial property rights here? I must con- 
fess I am not thoroughly at home in these complicated 
matters." 

"That is not necessary, your Grace," answered the dike- 
grave's daughter, "I will transfer the property to Hauke 
before the marriage. I have my own little pride," she 
added, smiling; "I want to marry the richest man in the 
village!" 

"Well, Manners," said the pastor, "I suppose that you, 
as godfather, will have no objection when I unite the young 
dikegrave and the daughter of the old one in marriage ! ' ' 

The old man shook his head gently. ' ' May God give them 
his blessing!" he said, devoutly. 

But the chief dikegrave held out his hand to the girl. 
"You have spoken truly and wisely, Elke Volkerts ; I thank 
you for your forceful explanations and I hope also in the 
future and on more joyous occasions than this to be the 
guest of your house ; but — the most wonderful thing about it 
all is that a dikegrave should be made by such a young 
woman." 

"Your Grace," replied Elke, who looked at his kindly 



THE EIDEE OF THE WHITE HOESE 277 

face again with her serious eyes, ' ' the right man may well 
be helped by his wife!" Then she went into the adjoining 
parlor and silently laid her hand in Hauke Haien's. 

It was several years later. Tede Haien's little house 
was now occupied by an active workman with his wife and 
children. The young dikegrave Hauke Haien lived with his 
wife in what had been her father's house. In summer the 
mighty ash rustled in front of the house as before ; but on 
the bench which now stood beneath it generally only the 
young wife was to be seen in the evening sitting alone with 
her sewing or some other piece of work. There was still no 
child in this home and Hauke had something else to do than 
to spend a leisure evening in front of the house, for in spite 
of the help he had given the old dikegrave the latter had 
bequeathed to him a number of unsettled matters pertaining 
to the dike, matters with which Hauke had not liked to 
meddle before ; but now they must all gradually be cleared 
up and he swept with a strong broom. Then came the 
management and work of the farm itself, increased as it 
was by the addition of his own property, and moreover 
he was trying to do without a servant boy. And so it hap- 
pened that, except on Sunday when they went to church, 
he and Elke saw each other only at dinner, when Hauke 
was generally hurried, and at the beginning and end of the 
day ; it was a life of continuous work and yet a contented 
one. 

And then the tongues of the busy-bodies disturbed the 
peace. One Sunday after church a somewhat noisy gang 
of the younger landowners in the marsh and upland dis- 
tricts were sitting drinking in the tavern on the uplands. 
Over the fourth or fifth glass they began to talk, not indeed 
about the king and the government — no one went so high 
in those days — ^but about the municipal officials and their 
superiors and above all about the municipal taxes and 
assessments, and the longer they talked the less they were 
satisfied with them, least of all with the new dike assess- 



278 THE GEEMAN CLASSICS 

ments; all the drains and sluices which had hitherto been 
all right now needed repairs; new places were always 
being found in the dike that needed hundreds of barrows 
of earth; the devil take it alll 

"That's your clever dikegrave's doing," shouted one of 
the uplanders, "who always goes about thinking and then 
puts a finger into every pie." 

"Yes, Marten," said Ole Peters, who sat opposite the 
speaker; "you're right, he's tricky and is always trying to 
get into the chief dikegrave's good books; but we've got 
him now. ' ' 

"Why did you let them load him onto you?" said the 
other; "now you've got to pay for it." 

Ole Peters laughed, "Yes, Marten Fedders, that's the 
way it goes with us here and there's nothing to be done. 
The old dikegrave got the office on his father's account; 
the new one on his wife's." The laughter that greeted 
this sally showed how it pleased the company. 

But it was said at a public house table and it did not 
stop there ; soon it went the rounds on the uplands as well 
as down on the marshes ; thus it came to Hauke 's ears too. 
And again all the malicious faces passed before his inward 
eye and when he thought of the laughter at the tavern 
table it sounded more mocking than it had been in reality. 
"The dogs !" he shouted and looked wrathfuUy to one side 
as if he would have had them thrashed. 

At that Elke laid her hand on his arm: "Never mind 
them ! They would all like to be what you are ! ' ' 

"That's just it," he answered rancorously. 

"And," she went on, "did not Ole Peters himself marry 
money?" 

"That he did, Elke; but what he got when he married 
VoUina was not enough to make him dikegrave ! ' ' 

"Say rather; he was not enough himself to become dike- 
grave!" And Elke turned her husband round so that he 
looked at himself in the mirror, for they were standing 
between the windows in their room. "There stands the 



THE RIDEE OF THE WHITE HORSE 279 

dikegrave," she said; "now look at him; only he who can 
exercise an office holds one ! ' ' 

"You are not wrong there," he answered, thinking, "and 
yet * * * Well, Elke, I must go on to the eastern sluice; 
the gates don't lock again." 

She pressed his hand. "Come, look at me a minute 
first! What is the matter with you, your eyes look so 
far away?" 

"Nothing, Elke; you're right." 

He went; but he had not been gone long when he had 
forgotten all about the repairs to the sluice. Another idea 
which he had half thought out and had carried about with 
him for years, but which had been pushed into the back- 
ground by urgent ofl&cial duties, now took possession of 
him anew and more powerfully than before as if suddenly 
it had grown wings. 

Hardly realizing where he was going he found himself 
up on the seaward dike, a good distance to the south, 
towards the town; the Village that lay out in this direction 
had long disappeared on his left ; still he went on, his gaze 
turned towards the water-side and fixed steadily on the 
broad stretch of land in front of the dikes; anyone with 
him could not have helped seeing what absorbing mental 
work was going on behind those eyes. At last he stopped ; 
there the foreland narrowed down to a little strip along 
the dike. "It must be possible," he said to himself. 
"Seven years in office! they shan't say again that I am 
dikegrave only on my wife's account!" 

Still he stood and his keen glance swept carefully over 
the green foreland in all directions; then he went back to 
where another small strip of green pasture-land took the 
place of the broad expanse lying before him. Close to the 
dike however a strong sea current ran through this expanse 
separating nearly the whole outland from the mainland and 
making it into an island ; a rough wooden bridge led across 
to it so that cattle or hay and grain carts could pass over. 
The tide was low and the golden September sun glistened 



280 THE GEEMAN CLASSICS 

on the bare strip of mud, perhaps a hundred feet wide, and 
on the deep water-course in the middle of it through which 
the sea was even now running. "That could be dammed," 
said Hauke to himself after watching it for some time. 
Then he looked up and, in imagination, drew a line from 
the dike on which he stood, across the water-course, along 
the edge of the island, round towards the south and back 
again in an easterly direction across the water-course and 
up to the dike. And this invisible line which he now drew 
was a new dike, new too in the construction of its profile 
which till now had existed only in his head. 

"That would give us about a thousand acres more of 
reclaimed land, " he said, smiling to himself; "not exactly a 
great stretch, but stiU " 

Another calculation absorbed him. The outland here be- 
longed to the community, its members each holding a num- 
ber of shares according to the size of their property in the 
parish or by having legally acquired them in some other 
way. He began to count up how many shares he had re- 
ceived from his own, how many from Elke 's father and how 
many he had bought himself since his marriage, partly with 
an indistinct idea of benefit to be derived in the future, 
partly when he increased hi« flocks of sheep. Altogether 
he held a considerable number of shares ; for he had bought 
from Ole Peters all that he had as well, when the latter 
became so disgusted at losing his best ram in a partial 
inundation that he decided to sell. But that was a rare 
accident, for as far back as Hauke could remember only 
the edges were flooded even when the tides were unusually 
high. What splendid pasture and grain land it would make 
and how valuable it would be when it was all surrounded 
by his new dike ! A kind of intoxication came over him 
as he thought of it, but he dug his nails into the palms of 
his hands and forced his eyes to look clearly and soberly 
at what lay before him. There was this great dikeless area 
on the extreme edge of which a flock of dirty sheep now 
wandered grazing slowly; who knew what storms and tides 



THE EIDER OF THE WHITE HOESE 281 

might do to it even within the next few years ; and for him 
it would mean a lot of work, struggle, and annoyance. 
Nevertheless, as he went down from the dike and along the 
foot-path across the fens towards his mound, he felt as if 
he were bringing a great treasure home with him. 

EIke met him in the hall; "How did you find the sluice?" 
she asked. 

He looked down at her with a mysterious smile: "We 
shall soon need another sluice," he said, "and drains and a 
new dike!" 

"I don't understand," replied Elke as they went into 
the room. "What is it that you want, Hauke?" 

"I want," he said slowly and stopped a moment. "I 
want to have the big stretch of outland that begins opposite 
our place and then runs towards the west, all diked in and 
a well-drained koog made out of it. The high tides have left 
us in peace for nearly a generation, but if one of the really 
bad ones should come ^gain and destroy the new growth, 
everything might be ruined at one blow; only the old slip- 
shod way of doing things could have let it go on like that 
so long." 

She looked at him in amazement. "Then you blame 
yourself!" she said. 

"Yes, I do, Elke; but there has always been so much else 
to do." 

' ' I know, Hauke ; you have done enough ! ' ' 

He had seated himself in the old dikegrave's easy-chair 
and his hands gripped both arms of it firmly. 

"Have you the courage to do it?" asked his wife. 

"Indeed I have, Elke," he said hastily. 

"Don't go too fast, Hauke; that is an undertaking of 
life and death and they will nearly all be against you ; you 
will get no thanks for all your trouble and care ! ' ' 

He nodded : "I know ! " he said. 

"And suppose it doesn't succeed!" she exclaimed again; 
"ever since I was a child I have heard that that water- 



282 THE GERMAN CLASSICS 

course could not be stopped and therefore it must never be 
touched. ' ' 

"That is simply a lazy man's excuse," said Hauke; 
"why should it be impossible to stop it?" 

"I never heard why; perhaps because it flows through 
so straight; the washout is too strong." Suddenly a mem- 
ory came back to her and an almost roguish smile dawned 
in her serious eyes. "When I was a child," she said, "I 
heard the hired men talking about it once ; they said that 
the only way to build a dam there that would hold was to 
bury something alive in it while it was being made; when 
they were building a dike on the other side — ^it must have 
been a hundred years ago — a gypsy child that they bought 
from its mother at a high price had been thrown into it 
and buried alive ; but now probably no one would sell her 
child." 

Hauke shook his head. "Then it is just as well that we 
have none, or they would probably require it of us!" 

"They wouldn't get it!" said Elke, and threw her arms 
across her own body as if in fear. 

And Hauke smiled; but she went on to another question: 
"And the tremendous expense! Have you thought of 
that?" 

"Indeed I have, Elke; we shall gain in land much more 
than the expense of building the dike, and then too the 
cost of maintaining the old dike will be much less ; we shall 
work ourselves and we have more than eighty teams in the 
parish and no lack of young hands. At least you will not 
have made me dikegrave for nothing, Elke; I will show 
them that I am one." 

She had crouched down in front of him and was looking 
at him anxiously; now she rose with a sigh. "I must go on 
with my day's work," she said slowly stroking his cheek; 
"you do yours, Hauke." 

"Amen, Elke," he said with an earnest smile; "there is 
work here for both of us ! " 

And there was work enough for both, though now the 



THE EIDER OF THE WHITE HORSE 283 

husband's burden became even heavier. On Sunday after- 
noons and often late in the evening Hauke and a capable 
surveyor sat together, deep in calculations, drawings and 
plans ; it was the same when Hauke was alone and he often 
did not finish till long after midnight. Then he crept into 
his and Elke's bedroom, for they no longer used the stuffy 
wall-beds in the living-room, and so that he might at last 
get some rest, his wife lay with closed eyes as if asleep 
although she had been waiting for him with a beating heart. 
Then he sometimes kissed her brow, whispering a word of 
endearment, and laid himself down to wait for the sleep 
which often did not come to him till cock-crow. During the 
winter tempests he would go out on the dike with paper 
and pencil in his hand and stand there drawing and making 
notes while a gust of wind tore his cap from his head and 
his long tawny hair blew across his hot face. As long as 
the ice did not prevent it he would take one of the men- 
servants and go out in the boat to the shallows and measure 
the depth of the currents there with a rod and plumb-line, 
whenever he was in doubt. Elke often trembled for him, 
but the only sign she showed of it when he came home again 
was the firmness of her hand-clasp or the gleaming light in 
her usually quiet eyes. "Have patience, Elke," he said 
once when it seemed to him that his wife did not want to 
let him go ; " I must be perfectly clear about it myself before 
I make my proposal. ' ' At that she nodded and let him go. 
His rides into town to the chief dikegrave were no trifle 
either, and they and all the work of managing the house 
and farm were always followed by work on his papers late 
into the night. He almost ceased to associate with other 
people except in his work and business; he even saw less 
of his wife from day to day. "It is a hard time and it will 
last a long while yet," said Elke to herself and went about 
her work. 

At last, when the sun and spring winds had broken up 
the ice everywhere the preparatory work came to an end. 
The petition to the chief dikegrave to be recommended to, 



284 THE GEEMAN CLASSICS 

a higher department was ready. It contained the proposal 
for a dike to surround the foreland mentioned, for the 
benefit of the public welfare, especially of the koog and not 
less of the Sovereign's exchequer as, in a few years, the 
latter would profit by taxes from about one thousand acres. 
The whole was neatly copied, packed in a strong tubular 
case, together with plans and drawings of all the localities 
as they were at present and as planned, of sluices and 
drains and everything else in question, and was provided 
with the dikegrave's official seal. 

"Here it is, Elke," said the young dikegrave, "now give 
it your blessing." 

Elke laid her hand in his: "We will hold fast to each 
other," she said. 

"That we will." 

Then the petition was sent into town by a messenger on 
horseback. 

"You will notice, my dear sir," the schoolmaster inter- 
rupted his tale as he looked at me with kindness in his 
expressive eyes, "that what I have told you up to now I 
have gathered during nearly forty years of activity in this 
district from reliable accounts from what has been told me 
by the grandchildren and great-grandchildren of enlight- 
ened families. Now in order that you may bring this into 
harmony with the final course of events I have to tell you 
that the rest of my story was at the time and still is the 
gossip of the whole marsh village when, about All Saints' 
Day, the spinning wheels begin to whirr. 

About five or six hundred feet north of the dikegrave's 
farm, as one stood on the dike, one could see a few thou- 
sand feet out in the shallows and, somewhat farther from 
the opposite bank, a little islet called "Jeverssand" or 
"Jevershallig." It had been used by the grandfathers of 
that day as a sheep pasture, for at that time it had been 
covered with grass ; but even that had ceased because sev- 
eral times the low islet had been flooded by the sea, espe- 




A NORTH SEA ISLANDER'S CONGREGATION 



Jacob ALBERTb 



THE EIDER OF THE WHITE HOESE 285 

cially in midsummer, and the grass had been damaged and 
made unfit for the sheep. So it happened that, except for 
the gulls and other birds that fly along the shore, and per- 
haps an occasional fishhawk, nothing visited it any more; 
and on moonlight evenings, looking out from the dike, only 
the foggy mists could be seen as they hung lightly or heav- 
ily above it. When the moon shone from the east on the 
islet people also thought they could distinguish a few 
bleached skeletons of drowned sheep and the skeleton of a 
horse, though how the latter had come there no one could 
explain. 

Once, towards the end of March, late in the evening, the 
day-laborer who lived in Tede Haien's house and the young 
dikegrave's man Iven Johns stood together at that spot 
and gazed out fixedly at the islet, which could scarcely be 
distinguished in the misty moonlight ; apparently something 
unusual had caught their attention and kept them standing 
there. The day laborer stuck his hands in his pockets and 
shook himself. "Come on, Iven," he said, "that's nothing 
good; let us go home!" 

The other one laughed, but a shudder could be heard 
through his laughter. "Oh, nonsense! It's a living crea- 
ture, a big one ! Who in the devil's name could have driven 
it out there onto that piece of mud! Look! Now it's 
stretching its head over towards us! No, it's lowering its 
head, it's eating! I thought there was no grass there! 
Whatever can it be?" 

"What business is that of oursV answered the other. 
' ' Good night, Iven, if you won 't go along ; I 'm going home. ' ' 
"Grood-night then," the day laborer called back as he 
trotted home along the dike. The servant looked round 
after him a few times, but the desire to see something 
uncanny kept him where he was. Then a dark, stocky figure 
came along the dike from the village towards him; it was 
the dikegrave's stable boy. "What do you want, Karstenf " 
the man called out to him. 



286 THE GERMAN CLASSICS 

"I? — ^notMng," answered the boy; "but the master 
wants to speak to you, Iven Johns." 

The man had his eyes fixed on the islet again, "All 
right; I'm coming in a minute," he said. 

"What are you looking at?" asked the boy. 

The man raised his arm and pointed to the islet in 
silence. "Oh ho!" whispered the boy; "there's a horse — 
a white horse — it must be the devil who rides it — ^how does 
a horse get out there on Jevershallig?" 

"Don't know, Karsten; if only it's a real horse!" 

"Oh, yes, Iven; look, it's grazing just like a horse! But 
who took it out there; there isn't a boat big enough in the 
whole village! Perhaps after all it's only a sheep; Peter 
Ohm says, in the moonlight ten stocks of peat look like a 
whole village. No, look! Now it's jumping — ^it must be a 
horse ! ' ' 

The two stood for a time in silence, their eyes fixed on 
what they could see but indistinctly over there. The moon 
was high in the sky and shone down on the broad shallow 
sea whose rising tide was just beginning to wash over the 
glistening stretches of mud; no sound of any animal was 
to be heard all around, nothing but the gentle noise of the 
water; the marsh too, behind the dike, was empty; cows 
and oxen were all still in their stalls. Nothing was moving ; 
the only thing that seemed to be alive was what they 
took to be a horse, a white horse, out on Jevershallig. "It's 
growing lighter," said the man breaking the silence; "I 
can see the white sheep bones shining clearly." 

"So can I," said the boy, stretching his neck; then, as if 
an idea had suddenly struck him, he pulled at the man's 
sleeve. "Iven," he whispered, "the horse's skeleton that 
always used to lie there, where is it? I can't see it!" 

"I don't see it either, that's queer!" said the man, 

"Not so very queer, Iven! Sometimes, I don't know in 
what nights, the bones are said to rise up and act as if they 
were alive." 

"So?" said the man; "that's old wives' superstition!" 



THE EIDEE OF THE WHITE HORSE 287 

"May be, Iven," said the boy. 

"Well, I thought you came to fetch me ; come on, we must 
go home. There's nothing new to see here." 

The boy would not move till the man had turned him 
round by force and pulled him onto the path. "Listen, 
Karsten," he said when the ghostly island was already a 
good bit behind them, "they say you're a fellow that's 
ready for anything; I believe you'd like best to investigate 
that yourself." 

"Yes," replied Karsten, shuddering a little at the reool- 
. lection, "yes, I'd like to, Iven." 

"Are you in earnest?" asked the man after Karsten had 
given him his hand on it. "Well then, tomorrow evening 
we'll take our boat; you can go over to Jeverssand and I'll 
wait for you on the dike." 

"Yes," replied the boy, "we can do that. I'll take my 
whip with me. ' ' 

"Yes, do!" 

In silence they went up the high mound to their master's 
house. 

The same time the following evening the man was sitting 
on the big stone in front of the stable door as the boy came 
up to him cracking his whip. ' ' That makes an odd whistle ! ' ' 
said Iven. 

"To be sure, look out for yourself," answered the boy; 
' ' I have plaited nails into the lash. ' ' 

"Come along then," said the other. 

As on the day before the moon was in the eastern sky and 
shone down clearly from its height. Soon they were both 
out on the dike and looking over at Jevershallig that stood 
like a spot of fog in the water. "There it is again," said 
the man; "I was here after dinner and it wasn't there, 
but I could distinctly see the white skeleton of the horse 
lying there." 

The boy stretched his neck. "It isn't there now, Iven," 
he whispered. 



288 THE GERMAN CLASSICS 

"Well, Karsten, how is it?" asked the man. "Are you 
still itching to row over there?" 

Karsten thought for a moment; then he cracked his whip 
in the air. ' ' Undo the boat, Iven ! ' ' 

Over on the island it looked as if whatever was walking 
there raised its head and stretched it out towards the main- 
land. They did not see it any longer; they were already 
walking down the dike and to the place where the boat lay. 
"Now, get in," said the man after he had untied it. "I'll 
wait till you come back. You must head for the east shore, 
there was always a good landing there." The lad nodded 
silently and then rowed out, with his whip, into the moon- 
lit night. The man wandered along the dike back to the 
place where they had stood before. Soon he saw the boat 
ground near a steep dark spot on the other side to which a 
broad water-course flowed, and a short, thickset figure 
sprang ashore. Wasn't that the boy cracking his whip? 
Or it might be the sound of the rising tide. Several hun- 
dred feet to the north he saw what they had taken to be a 
white horse, and now — ^yes, the figure of the boy was going 
straight towards it. Now it raised its head as if startled 
and the boy — he could hear it plainly — snapped his whip. 
But — ^what could he be thinking of? He had turned round 
and was walking back along the way he had gone. The crea- 
ture on the other side seemed to go on grazing steadily, he 
had not heard it neigh; at times white stripes of water 
seemed to pass across the apparition. The man watched it 
as if spellbound. 

Then he heard the grounding of the boat on the side on 
which he stood and soon he saw the boy coming out of the 
dusk and towards him up the side of the dike. "Well, 
Karsten," he said, "what was it?" 

The boy shook his head. "It wasn't anything," he said. 
"Just before I landed I saw it from the boat and then, 
when I was once on the island — the devil knows where the 
beast went, the moon was shining brightly enough; but 
when I came to the place there was nothing there but the 



THE EIDER OF THE. WHITE HOESE 289 

bleached bones of half a dozen sheep and a little farther on 
lay the horse's skeleton with its long, white skull and the 
moon was shining into its empty eye-sockets ! " 

"Hmm!" said the man; "did you look carefully?" 

"Yes, Iven, I stood close up to it; a God-forsaken lap- 
wing that had gone to sleep behind the bones flew up 
shrieking and startled me so that I cracked my whip after 
it a few times. ' ' 

"And that was all?" 

"Yes, Iven, I didn't see anything else." 

"And it's enough," said the man, pulling the boy to- 
wards him by the arm and pointing across to the islet. ' ' Do 
you see anything over there, Karsten?" 

" As I live, there it is again ! ' ' 

"Again?" said the man; "I was looking over there the 
whole time and it never went away ; you went right towards 
the uncanny thing. ' ' 

The boy stared at him; a look of horror that did not 
escape the man appeared on his usually saucy face. 
"Come," said the latter, "let us go home; seen from here 
it is alive and over there it is only bones — that is more than 
you and I can understand. Keep your mouth shut about it ; 
things like that must not be questioned. ' ' 

So they turned and the boy trotted along beside him; 
they did not speak and the marsh lay in unbroken silence 
at their side. 

But after the moon had declined and the nights had 
grown dark something else happened. 

Hauke Haien had ridden into town at the time the hprse- 

fair was going on, without however having anything to do 

with that. Nevertheless towards evening when he came 

home he brought a second horse with him ; but its coat was 

rough and it was so thin that its ribs could be counted and 

its eyes lay dull and sunken in their sockets. Elke had golie 

out in front of the door to meet her husband. ' ' For 

heaven's sake!" she exclaimed, "what's the old white 

horse for?" For as Hauke came riding up in front of the 
Vol. XI — 19 



290 THE GERMAN CLASSICS 

house and drew rein under the ash she saw that the poor 
creature was lame too. 

But the young dikegrave sprang laughing from his brown 
gelding. "Never mind, Elke, it didn't cost much." 

"You know that the cheapest thing is usually the dear- 
est," his wise wife answered. 

"Not always, Elke; this animal is four years old at the 
most ; look at him more carefully ! He has been starved and 
abused; our oats will do him good and I will take care of 
him myself so that he shan't be overfed." 

During this conversation the animal stood with his head 
lowered; his mane hung down long over his neck. WhUe 
her husband was calling the men Elke walked round the 
horse looking him over, but she shook her head: "We 
never had such a nag as this in our stable!" 

When the stable boy came round the corner of the house 
he suddenly stopped with terror-stricken eyes. "Well, 
Karsten," said the dikegrave, "what's the matter with 
you? Don't you like my white horse?" 

"Yes — Oh, yes, master, why not?" 

"Well, then, take both the horses into the stable but 
don't feed them; I am coming over there in a minute 
myself." 

Cautiously the boy took hold of the white horse's halter 
and then hastily, as if to protect himself, he seized the rein 
of the gelding which had also been trusted to his care. 
Hauke went into the house with his wife; she had warm 
beer ready for him and bread and butter were also at 
hand. 

He was soon satisfied and, rising began to walk up and 
down the room with his wife; "Now let me tell you, 
Elke," he said, while the evening glow shone on the tiles in 
the walls, "how I happened to get the animal. I stayed 
at the chief dikegrave 's about an hour; he had good news 
for me — some changes will undoubtedly have to be made 
in my plans; but the main thing, my profile, has been 
accepted and the order to begin work on the new dike may 
get here any day now." 



THE EIDER OF THE WHITE HORSE 291 

Elke sighed involuntarily: "Then it is to be done after 
all!" she said apprehensively. 

"Yes, wife," replied Hauke; "it's going to be uphill 
work but that is why God brought us together, I think. 
Our farm is in such good order now that you can take a 
good part of it on your shoulders ; think ten years ahead — 
then our property will have greatly increased ! ' ' 

At his first words she had pressed her husband's hand 
assuringly in hers, but his last remark brought her no joy. 
"Who will the place be for?" she said. "Unless you take 
another wife instead of me; I cannot bear you any chil- 
dren." 

Tears rushed to her eyes; but he drew her close and 
held her tight in his arms: "Let us leave that to God," 
he said; "but now, and even then, we shall be young enough 
to enjoy the fruits of our labor ourselves." 

She looked at him long with her dark eyes while he held 
her thus. "Forgive me,. Hauke," she said, "at times I am 
a despondent woman. ' ' 

He bent his face to hers and kissed her. "You are my 
wife and I am your husband, Elke! And nothing can 
change that." 

At that she put her arms close round his neck. "You are 
light, Hauke, and whatever comes will come to us both." 
Then, blushing, she drew away from his arms. ' ' You were 
going to tell me about the white horse, ' ' she said softly. 

"Yes, I will, Elke. I've already told you that I was in 
high spirits over the good news that the chief dikegrave had 
given me ; and just as I was riding out of the town, there, 
on the dam, behind the harbor, I met a ragged fellow; I 
didn't know whether he was a vagabond or a tinker or what. 
He was pulling the white horse on the halter after him and 
the animal raised its head and looked at me with pleading 
eyes, as if it were begging me for something; and at the 
moment I was certainly rich enough. 'Hello, fellow!' I 
shouted, 'where are you going with the old nag?' 



292 THE GEEMAN CLASSICS 

"He stopped and the white horse stopped too. * Going to 
sell it, ' he said and nodded to me with cunning in his eyes. 

" ' To anyone else, but not to me ! ' I said merrily. 

" 'Why not?' he answered; 'it's a fine horse and well 
worth a hundred thalers.' 

"I laughed in his face. 

" 'Oh, you needn't laugh,' he said; 'you needn't pay me 
that! But I can't use the beast; it would starve with me. 
It would soon look different if you had it a little while. ' 

"So I jumped down from my gelding and looked at the 
animal's mouth and saw that it was still young. 'How 
much do you want for it?' I asked, for the horse was look- 
ing at me again as if begging. 

" 'Take it for thirty thalers, sir,' said the fellow, 'and 
I'll throw in the halter.' 

"And so, Elke, I took the brown, clawlike hand that the 
lad offered me and it was a bargain. So we have the white 
horse, and cheap enough too, I think. Only it was curious ; 
as I rode away with the horse I heard laughing behind me 
and when I turned my head I saw the Slovak standing 
there, his legs apart, his arms behind his back, laughing 
like the devil. ' ' 

"Phew!" exclaimed Elke; "if only the white horse 
doesn't bring you anything from his old master! I hope 
he'll thrive for you, Hauke." 

"He shall thrive for his own sake, at least as far as I 
can manage it ! " And with that the dikegrave went out to 
the stable as he had told the boy he would. 

But this was not the only evening on which he fed the 
horse; from then on he always did it himself and kept it 
under his eye all the time ; he wanted to show that he had 
made a good bargain and at least the horse should have 
every chance. And it was only a few weeks before the 
animal began to hold up its head ; gradually the rough hair 
disappeared, a smooth, blue-mottled coat began to show and 
when, one day, he led it about the yard, it stepped out 
daintily with its strong, slender legs. Hauke thought of 



THE RIDEE OF THE WHITE HORSE 293 

the tattered, adventurous fellow who had sold it: "The 
chap was a fool, or a scoundrel who had stolen it ! " he mur- 
mured to himself. Soon, whenever the horse heard his step 
in the stable it would throw its head round and whinny 
to him, and then Hauke saw that its face was covered with 
hair as the Arabs like to have it while its brown eyes flashed 
fire. Then he led it out of the stall and put a light saddle 
on it, but he 'was hardly on its back before a whinny of joy 
broke from the animal and oflf it flew with him, down the 
mound onto the road and then towards the dike; but the 
rider sat tight and once they were on top the horse quieted 
down and stepped lightly, as if dancing, while it tossed its 
head towards the sea. Hauke patted and stroked its smooth 
neck but the caress was no longer necessary; the horse 
seemed to be entirely one with its rider and after he had 
ridden out a bit on the dike towards the north he turned it 
easily and rode back to the yard. 

The men were standing below at the entrance to the 
driveway, waiting for tfieir master to come back. ' * There, 
John, ' ' the latter called, as he sprang from his horse, ' ' take 
him and ride him down to the fen, to the others ; he carries 
you as if you were in a cradle ! ' ' 

The horse tossed his head and whinnied loudly out into 
the sunny open country, while the man unbuckled the saddle 
and the boy carried it off to the harness-room ; then he laid 
his head on his master 's shoulder and suffered himself to be 
caressed. But when the man tried to swing himself up 
onto his back he sprang suddenly and sharply aside and 
then stood quiet again, his beautiful eyes fixed on his 
master. "Oh ho, Iven!" cried the latter, "did he hurt 
you?" and tried to help his man onto his feet. 

Iven rubbed his hip hard. "No, master, it's not so bad; 
but the devil can ride the white horse ! ' ' 

"And so will I!" added Hauke, laughing. "Take the 
rein and lead him to the fen, then. ' ' 

And when the man, somewhat ashamed of himself, obeyed, 
the white horse quietly allowed himself to be led. 



294 THE GERMAN CLASSICS 

A few evenings later the man and the stable-boy were 
standing together at the stable door; behind the dike the 
evening glow had paled, and on the inner side the koog 
lay in deep dusk; occasionally the lowing of some startled 
cow came from the distance or the shriek of a lark as a 
weasel or water rat put an end to its life. The man was 
leaning against the door-post smoking a short pipe, the 
smoke of which he could no longer see; he and the boy had 
not yet spoken to each other. The latter had something 
on his mind, but he did not know how to approach the 
silent man with it. "Look, Iven," he said at last. "You 
know the horse's skeleton on Iverssand?" 

"What about it?" asked the man. 

"It isn't there any more; not in the daytime nor by 
moonlight; I've been out on the dike at least twenty 
times. ' ' 

"I suppose the old bones have fallen apart!" said Iven, 
and went on smoking calmly. 

"But I was out there by moonlight too; there's nothing 
walking about over on Jeverssand!" 

"Well," said the man, "if the bones have fallen to pieces 
I suppose it can't get up any more." 

"Don't joke, Iven! I know now; I can tell you where 
it is." 

The man turned towards him with a start. "Well, where 
is it then?" 

"Where?" the boy repeated impressively. "It's stand- 
ing in our stable. It's been standing there ever since it 
has not been on the islet. It's not for nothing that the 
master always feeds it himself. I know what I'm talking 
about, Iven." 

The man puffed away violently for a while. "You're a 
bit off, Karsten," he said at last; "our white horsp? If 
ever a horse was alive it's he. How can a bright lad like 
you believe in such an old woman's tale!" 

But the boy could not be convinced : if the devil was in 
the horse why shouldn't it be alive? On the contrary, so 



THE RIDER OF THE WHITE HORSE 295 

much the more for that! He started every time that he 
went into the stable towards evening, where even in summer 
the animal was sometimes bedded, when he saw it toss its 
fiery head towards him so sharply. ' ' The devil take it ! " he 
would murmur, then, "we shan't be together much longer." 

So he began to look about him secretly for a new place, 
gave notice, and on All Saints' Day entered Ole Peters' 
service. There he found attentive listeners to his story of 
the dikegrave's devil-horse. Ole's fat wife, VoUina, and 
her stupid father, the former dike commissioner Jess 
Harders, listened to it with pleasurable shuddering, and 
later repeated it to everyone who had a spite against the 
dikegrave or who enjoyed tales of that kind. 

In the meantime towards the end of March the order 
to begin work on the new dike had been received through 
the chief dikegrave. Hauke 's first step was to call together 
the dike commissioners and they all assembled one day in 
the tavern up by the church and listened while he read the 
main points to them from the various documents : from his 
petition, from the report of the chief dikegrave, finally 
from the decision in which, above all, the profile that he 
had proposed was accepted, so that the new dike would not 
be steep like the other but slope gradually on the water- 
side ; but they did not listen with cheerful or even satisfied 
faces. 

"Yes, yes," said an old commissioner, "we are in for it 
now and no protests can help us, for the chief dikegrave is 
backing up our dikegrave." 

"You're right enough, Dethlev Wiens," said another; 
"the spring work is at the door and now we've got to 
make miles of dike, so of course we must drop everything 
else." 

"You can finish all that this year," said Hauke; "things 
won't move as fast as that." 

Few of them were ready to admit it. "And your pro- 
file!" said a third, bringing up a new subject; "on the out- 
side, towards the water, the dike will be wider than Law- 



296 THE GEEMAN CLASSICS 

renz's child was long! Where are we to get the material? 
When will the work be done?" 

"If not this year, then next; that will depend mainly on 
ourselves," said Hauke. 

A laugh of annoyance passed through the company. 
"But why all this useless work? The dike is not to be any 
higher than the old one," shouted a new voice; "and that's 
been standing for more than thirty years I think!" 

"That's right," said Hauke; "the old dike broke thirty 
years ago, then thirty-five years before that and again 
forty-five years before that; since then, although it still 
stands there steep and contrary to reason, the highest tides 
have spared us. But in spite of such tides the new dike 
will stand for a hundred and then another hundred years ; 
it will not be broken through because the gentle slope 
towards the water offers no point of attack to the waves 
and so you will gain for yourselves and your children a safe 
and certain land, and that is why our sovereign and the 
chief dikegrave are backing me up ; and it is that, too, that 
you ought to be able to see yourselves, for it is to your own 
advantage. ' ' 

As no one seemed anxious to give an immediate answer to 
this an old white-haired man rose from his chair with diffi- 
culty. It was Elke's godfather, Jewe Manners, who still 
held office as commissioner at Hauke 's request. "Dike- 
grave Hauke Haien," he said, "you are putting us to a 
great deal of trouble and expense and I wish you had 
waited for that till God had called me home ; but — ^you are 
right, no one with reason can fail to see that. We ought 
to thank God every day that, in spite of our laziness, he has 
preserved that valuable piece of foreland from storm and 
water for us ; but now it is the eleventh hour when we our- 
selves must take hold and try with all our knowledge and 
ability to save it for ourselves without depending any more 
on God's long-suffering. I am an old man, my friends; 
I have seen dikes built and broken ; but the dike tiiat Hauke 
Haien has projected, by virtue of the understanding that 



THE RIDER OF THE WHITE HORSE 297 

God has given him, and that he has succeeded in getting 
our sovereign to grant — that dike no one of you who are 
alive here today will ever see break ; and if you yourselves 
will not thank him your grandchildren will one day not be 
able to refuse him the crown of honor that is his ! ' ' 

Jewe Manners sat down again, took his blue handkerchief 
from his pocket and wiped a few drops from his forehead. 
The old man was still known for his thoroughness and in- 
violable uprightness, and as those assembled were not ready 
to agree with him they continued their silence. But Hauke 
Haien took the floor and they all saw how pale he had 
grown. "I thank you, Jewe Manners," he said, "for being 
here and for speaking as you have spoken ; the rest of you, 
gentlemen, will please regard the new dike, for which indeed 
I am responsible, at least as something which cannot be 
changed now. Let us accordingly decide what is to be 
done next!" 

* ' Speak, ' ' said one of the commissioners. Hauke spread 
the plan of the new dike out on the table. ' ' A few minutes 
ago," he said, "one of you asked where we should get all 
the necessary earth. You see here that as far as the fore- 
land extends out into the shallows there is a strip of land 
left free outside the line of the dike ; we can take the earth 
from there and from the foreland that runs along the dike, 
north and south from the new koog. If we only have a good 
thick layer of clay on the water side, we can fill in, on the 
inside or in the middle, with sand. But now we must find a 
surveyor to stake out the line of the new dike on the fore- 
land. The one who helped me to work out the plan will 
probably suit us best. Further, we must make contracts 
with several cartwrights for single tipcarts in which to haul 
the clay and other material. In damming up the water- 
course and on the inner sides, where we may have to do with 
sand, we shall need, I can't say now how many hundred 
loads of straw, perhaps more than we shall be able to spare 
here in the marsh. Let us consider then, how all this is to 
be obtained and arranged; and later we shall also want a 



298 THE GERMAN CLASSICS 

capable carpenter to make the new sluice here on the west 
side towards the water. ' ' 

The commissioners had gathered round the table, looked 
indifferently at the map and now gradually began to speak, 
but, as it seemed, more for the sake of saying something. 
When they came to discuss the engaging of a surveyor one 
of the younger ones said: "You have thought it out, dike- 
grave; you must know who would be best fitted for the 
work. ' ' 

But Hauke replied : "As you are all under oath you must 
speak your own, not my opinion, Jacob Meyen ; and if you 
can do better I will let my proposal drop." 

"Oh well, it will be right enough," said Jacob Meyen. 

But one of the older men did not think so. He had a 
nephew who was a surveyor, such a surveyor as had never 
been seen here in the marsh country; he was said to know 
even more than the dikegrave's blessed father, Tede Haien ! 

So the merits of both surveyors were discussed and it was 
finally decided to give the work to them both together. It 
was the same thing when they came to consider the tip- 
carts, the straw supply, and everything else, and Hauke 
arrived home late and almost exhausted, on the gelding 
which he still rode at that time. But he had no sooner sat 
down in the old easy chair which had belonged to his prede- 
cessor, who, though more ponderous, had lived more lightly, 
than his wife was at his side. "You look so tired, Hauke," 
she said, stroking the hair away from his forehead with her 
slender hand. 

"I am, a little," he answered. 

"And how is it going!" 

"Oh, it's going," he said with a bitter smile; "but I must 
turn the wheels myself and I can be glad if somebody else 
does not hold them back." 

"But they don't all do that, do they?" 

"-No, Elke; your godfather, Jewe Manners, is a good 
man ; I wish he were thirty years younger. ' ' 



THE EIDEE OF THE WHITE HOESE 299 

A few weeks later, after the dike-line had been staked out 
and most of the tip-carts delivered, the dikegrave called a 
meeting in the parish tavern of all those who had shares in 
the koog which was to be surrounded by the new dike, and 
also of the owners of land that lay behind the old dike. His 
object was to lay before them a plan for the distribution 
of labor and expense, and to hear any objections they might 
have to make. The latter class of owners would have to do 
their part, too, inasmuch as the new dike and the new drains 
would diminish the cost of maintenance of the older ones. 
This plan had been a difficult piece of work for Hauke, and 
if, through the kind offices of the chief dikegrave, a dike 
messenger and a dike clerk had not been assigned to him 
he would not have finished it so soon, although every day 
for some time he had been working late into the night. 
Then, when, tired out, he sought his couch, he did not find 
his wife waiting for him in pretended sleep as formerly; 
she too had now such a fall measure of daily work that at 
night she lay in imperturbable slumber as if at the bottom 
of a deep well. 

When Hauke had read his plan and spread out again on 
the table the papers which had already lain in the tavern 
for three days so that they might be examined, it appeared 
that there were serious men present who regarded this con- 
scientious diligence with deference, and after calm delibera- 
tion submitted to the dikegrave 's just demands. Others, 
however, whose shares in the new territory had been sold 
either by themselves or their fathers or other former pos- 
sessors, protested against being made to bear part of the 
cost of the new koog, in which they no longer had any inter- 
est, without considering that the new works would gradually 
disburden the old territory. And others again who were 
blessed with shares in the new koog shouted that they 
wanted to sell them, that they would let them go at a low 
price ; for on account of the unjust demands made of them 
they could not afford to hold them. But Ole Peters, who 
was leaning against the doorpost with wrath in his face. 



300 THE GERMAN CLASSICS 

called out : " Think it over first and then trust to our dike- 
grave! He knows how to figure! After he already had 
most of the shares he persuaded me to sell him mine, and 
as soon as he had them he decided to build a dike around 
this new koog. ' ' 

After he had spoken there was dead silence in the meeting 
for a moment. The dikegrave stood at the table on which 
he had spread out his papers before; he raised his head 
and looked at Ole Peters. "You know well, Ole Peters," 
he said, "that you slander me; you do it nevertheless be- 
cause you know, as well, that a good deal of the mud with 
which you pelt me will stick ! The truth is that you wanted 
to get rid of your shares and that I needed them at that time 
for sheep breeding ; and, if you want to know more, I can tell 
you that it was the abusive words that you used in the tav- 
ern, when you said that I was only the dikegrave on my 
wife 's account, that aroused me ; I wanted to show you all 
that I could be a dikegrave on my own account, and so, Ole 
Peters, I have done what the dikegrave before me should 
have done long ago. And if you bear me a grudge because 
at that time your shares became mine — you hear yourself 
that there are men enough here who are offering theirs at a 
low price now, merely because this is more work than they 
want to do." 

A murmur of applause broke from a small part of the 
men assembled and old Jewe Manners, who stood among 
them, shouted: '.'Bravo, Hauke Haien! God will give you 
success in your undertaking. ' ' 

They were not able to finish, however, although Ole 
Peters was silent, and they did not disperse till supper 
time. A second meeting was necessary before everything 
could be arranged, and then only because Hauke took it 
upon himself to provide four teams for the following 
month instead of the three that would properly have fallen 
to his lot. 

Finally when the bells were all ringing through the 
country for Whitsuntide the work had been begun. TJn- 



THE RIDEE OF THE WHITE HORSE 301 

ceasingly the tip-carts moved from the foreland to the dike- 
line where they dumped their loads of clay, while an equal 
number were already making the return trip to the fore- 
land for new loads. At the dike-line itself stood men with 
shovels and spades to shovel the clay into place and level 
it; tremendous wagons of straw were brought and un- 
loaded; the latter was used not only to cover the lighter 
material such as the sand and loose earth on the inside of 
the dike, but also, when portions of the dike had been 
finished and covered with sod, a firm coat of straw was laid 
over that to protect it from the gnawing waves ; overseers 
were appointed who walked hither and yon, and, in time of 
storm, stood with wide-open mouths shouting their orders 
through the wind and weather. Among them rode the dike- 
grave on his white horse, which he now used exclusively, 
and the animal flew here and there with its rider as he gave 
his short, dry orders, praised the laborers or, as sometimes 
happened, dismissed a lajsy or incompetent man without 
mercy. "It's no use!" he would say at such times; "we 
can 't have the dike spoiled on account of your laziness ! ' ' 
While he was still far away as he rode up out of the koog 
they heard his horse snorting and all hands began to work 
with a better will: "Look alive! Here comes the rider of 
the white horse!" 

While the workmen were stretched off on the ground in 
groups eating their lunch Hauke rode along the deserted 
works and his eyes were keen to discover spots where 
careless hands had handled the spade. If, however, he 
rode up to the men and explained to them how the work 
must be done, they did indeed look up and went on chewing 
their bread patiently, but he nevefr heard a word of agree- 
ment or any other remark from them. Once at that hour, 
it was already late, when he found a place in the dike where 
the work had been particularly well done; he rode up to 
the next group of lunchers, sprang from his horse, and 
asked pleasantly who had done such good work there, but 
they merely looked at him shyly and sullenly and named 



302 THE GERMAN CLASSICS 

slowly a few men as if they did it against their will. The 
man whom he had asked to hold his horse, which was 
standing as quiet as a lamb, held it with both hands and 
looked, as if in fear, at the animal's beautiful eyes which, 
as usual, were fixed on its master, 

"Well, Marten," said Hauke; "why do you stand as if 
you had been struck by lightning?" 

"Your horse is as quiet, sir, as if it were thinking of 
some mischief." 

Hauke laughed and took hold of the rein himself, when 
the horse at once began to rub its head caressingly against 
his shoulder. A few of the workmen looked fearfully over 
at horse and rider; others, as if all that did not concern 
them, continued to eat their lunch in silence, now and then 
throwing a crumb to the gulls which had remembered this 
feeding-place, and, balancing on their slender wings, tipped 
forward almost onto their heads. The dikegrave stood for 
a while, absently watching the begging birds as they caught 
the pieces thrown to them in their bills; then .he sprang 
into the saddle and rode away without looking round at the 
men ; the few words which they now spoke sounded to him 
almost like mockery. "What is it?" he said to himself; 
"was Elke right when she said they were all against me? 
Even these servants and small pwners for many of whom 
my new dike means added prosperity?" 

He spurred his horse so that it flew down to the koog 
like mad. He himself knew nothing, to be sure, of the 
uncanny nimbus that his former stable-boy had thrown 
about the rider of the white horse ; but if only the people 
had seen him then as he galloped along, his eyes staring out 
of his lean face, and his horse's red nostrils cracking! 

Summer and autumn had passed by ; the work had gone 
on till near the end of November ; then frost and snow had 
called a halt; the men had not been able to finish and it 
was decided to leave the koog lying open. Bight feet the 
dike rose above the level of the ground; only to the west 
towards the water where the sluice was to be laid a gap 



THE EIDER OF THE WHITE HORSE 303 

had been left; also above, in front of the old dike, the water- 
course was still untouched. Thus, as for the last thirty 
years, the tide could flow into the koog without doing much 
damage there or to the new dike. And so the work of 
men's hands was consigned to the great God above, and 
placed under his protection until the spring sun should 
make its completion possible. 

In the meantime preparations had been made in the 
dikegrave's house for a happy event; in the ninth year of 
their married life a child was born to him and his wife. 
It was red and -shriveled and weighed its seven pounds as 
new-born children should when, like this one, they belong 
to the female sex; only, its cry had been strangely muffled 
and did not please the midwife. But the worst was that on 
the third day Elke lay in a high fevei;, wandered in her 
speech and did not know either her husband or the old 
nurse. The wild joy that had seized upon Hauke at the 
sight of his child had turned into tribulation. The doctor 
had been fetched from the town; he sat beside the bed, 
felt Elke 's pulse, wrote prescriptions and looked helplessly 
about him. Hauke shook his head; "He can't help; only 
God can help ! ' ' He had figured out a kind of Christianity 
for himself; but there was something that prevented his 
praying. When the old doctor had driven away he stood 
at the window staring out into the winter day and, while 
the patient screamed aloud in her delirium, he clasped his 
hands together tightly; he did not know himself whether 
it was an act of devotion or due to his tremendous fear of 
losing control of himself. 

"Water! The water!" whimpered the sick woman. 
* ' Hold me ! " she screamed ; ' ' hold me, Hauke ! ' ' Then her 
voice died down; it sounded as if she were crying; "into 
the sea, out into the ocean? 0, dear God, I'll never see 
him again ! ' ' 

At that he turned and pushed the nurse away from the 
bed. He dropped on his knees, put his arms round his 



304 THE GERMAN CLASSICS 

wife and held her close: "Elke! Elke! Oh, know me, 
Elke, I am right here with you!" 

But she only opened wide her eyes burning with fever 
and looked about her as if helplessly lost. 

He laid her back on her pillows ; then, twisting his hands 
together, he cried: "Oh Lord, my God, do not take her 
from me !■ Thou knowest I cannot be without her !" Then 
he seemed to recollect himself and added softly: "I know, 
indeed, Thou canst not always do as Thou wouldst, not 
even Thou ; Thou art all- wise ; Thou must do according to 
thy wisdom — Oh Lord, speak to me if only by a breath!" 

It was as if a sudden stillness had fallen ; he heard noth- 
ing but gentle breathing; when he turned to the bed his 
wife lay there in calm slumber; only the nurse looked at 
him with horrified eyes. He heard the door move : "Who 
was that?" he asked. 

"The maid, Ann Grete, went out, sir; she came to bring 
the child-bed basket." 

"Why do you look at me so confusedly, Mrs. Levke?" 

"I? I was frightened at your prayer ; such a prayer will 
never save anyone from death!" 

Hauke looked at her with penetrating eyes: "Do you 
too, like Ann Grete, go to the conventicle where the Dutch 
jobbing tailor Jantje isl" 

* ' Yes, sir ; we both hold the living faith ! ' ' 

Hauke did not answer her. The dissenting conventicle 
movement which was in great vogue at that time had also 
put forth blossoms among the Friesians ; artisans who had 
come down in the world, or schoolmasters who had been 
dismissed for drunkenness, played the chief part in it, and 
girls, young and old women, loafers and lonely people 
assiduously attended the secret meetings in which anyone 
could play the priest. Of the dikegrave's household Ann 
Grete and the stable-boy, who was in love with her, spent 
their free evenings there. Elke, to be sure, had not failed 
to express her misgivings about this to Hauke ; but it had 
been his opinion that no one should interfere in matters 



THE RIDEE OF THE WHITE HORSE 305 

of faith ; the conventicle would not hurt anyone and it was 
at least better than the tavern ! 

So it had gone on, and therefore too he had kept sUence 
this time. But others did not keep silent about him ! The 
words of his prayer circulated from house to house; he 
had denied God's omnipotence, and what was a God with- 
out omnipotence? He was an atheist; perhaps the affair 
of the devil-horse might be true, after all! 

Hauke heard nothing of this ; in those days he had eyes 
and ears only for his wife; even the child had vanished 
from his mind. 

The old doctor came again, came every day, sometimes 
twice, then he stayed all night, wrote another prescription, 
and the man, Iven Johns, galloped off to the apothecary's 
with it. And then his face lost something of its serious- 
ness, he nodded confidentially to the dikegrave: "We'll 
pull through! With God's help!" And one day — was it 
that his art had triumphed over the disease or, after Hauke 
had prayed, had God been able to find another way out 
after all — ^when the doctor was alone with the patient he 
spoke to her and the old man 's eyes beamed : ' ' Mrs. Haien, 
now I can tell you confidently, today the doctor has his 
holiday; things were bad with you, but now you belong to 
us again, to the living!" 

At that a flood of joy broke from her dark eyes : * ' Hauke, 
Hauke, where are you?" she cried, and when in response to 
her clear call he rushed into the room and up to her bed, 
she threw her arms around his neck: "Hauke, my hus- 
band, I'm saved! I'm going to stay with you!" 

The old doctor drew his silk handkerchief from his 
pocket, passed it over his forehead and cheeks and went out 
of the room nodding his head. 

On the third evening after this day a pious orator — it 

was a slipper-maker who had been dismissed from work 

by the dikegrave — preached in the conventicle at the Dutch 

tailor's, and explained to his hearers God's qualities: 

"But whoever denies God's omnipotence, whoever says: 
Vol. XI — 20 



306 THE GERMAN CLASSICS 

'I know Thou canst not do as Thou wouldst' — we all know 
the wretched one ; he lies like a stone upon the community 
— he has fallen away from God and seeks the enemy of 
God, the lover of sins, to be his comforter; for man must 
reach out for some staff. But you, beware of him who 
prays thus; his prayer is a curse!" 

This too was carried about from house to house. What 
is not in a small community? And it also came to Hauke's 
ears. He did not speak of it, not even to his wife; only 
at times he embraced her vehemently and held her close: 
' ' Be Irue to me, Elke ! Be true to me ! " Then her eyes 
looked up at him full of astonishment: "True to you? 
To whom else should I be true?" But after a little while 
the meaning of his words came to her: "Yes, Hauke, we 
are true to each other, not only because we need each 
other." And then he went about his work and she about 
hers. 

So far that would have been well ; but in spite of all his 
absorbing work there was a feeling of loneliness round 
him, and defiance and reserve towards others crept into his 
heart; only towards his wife did he always remain the 
same, and morning and evening he knelt by his child's 
cradle as if that were the place of his eternal salvation. 
With the servants and laborers however he grew stricter; 
the awkward and careless whom formerly he had reproved 
quietly were now startled by the sudden harshness of his 
rebuke and Elke sometimes had to go softly and put things 
right. 

When spring approached work on the dike began again ; 
the gap in the western line of the dike was now closed by 
a cofferdam dike, in the form of a half -moon both towards 
the inside and towards the Outside, in order to protect the 
sluice which was now about to be built. And, like the sluice, 
the main dike grew gradually to its height, which had to be 
attained by more and more rapid labor. The dikegrave, 
who was directing the work, did not find it easier; for in 
place of Jewe Manners, who had died during the winter. 



THE EIDER OF THE WHITE HORSE 307 

Ole Peters had been appointed dike commissioner. Hauke 
had not wanted to try to prevent it; but, instead of the 
encouraging words and affectionate slaps on his left shoul- 
der that went with them, which he had so often received 
from his wife 's old godfather, he met with secret resistance 
and unnecessary objections from his successor, which had 
to be battered down with unnecessary reasons ; for Ole did 
indeed belong to the men of consequence but, as far as 
dike matters were concerned, not to the wise men; and 
moreover the "scribbling farm-hand" of before was still 
in his way. 

The most brilliant sky again spread out over sea and 
marsh, and the koog grew gay with strong cattle whose 
lowing from time to time interrupted the wide stillness; 
high in the air the larks sang unceasingly; one did not 
hear it till, for the length of a breath, the song was silent. 
No bad weather disturbed the work and the sluice already 
stood with its unpainted timber-structure without having 
needed the protection of the temporary dike even for one 
night; God seemed to favor the new work. Frau Elke's 
eyes also laughed to her husband when he came riding 
home from the dike on his white horse; "You've grown to 
be a good horse, after all," she would say and pat the 
animal 's smooth neck. But Hauke, when she held the child, 
would spring down and let the tiny little thing dance in 
his arms; and when the white horse fixed its brown eyes 
on the child he would say perhaps, ' ' Come here, you shall 
have the honor too ! ' ' Then he would put little Wienke — 
for so she had been christened — on his saddle and lead the 
horse round, in a circle on the mound. Even the old ash- 
tree sometimes had the honor; he would seat the child on 
a springy bough and let it swing. The mother stood with 
laughing eyes in the door of the house, but the child did 
not laugh. Its eyes, on either side of a delicate little nose, 
looked rather dully out into the distance, and the tiny hands 
did not reach for the little stick that her father held out to 
her. Hauke did not notice it and of course he knew nothing 



308 THE GEBMAN CLASSICS 

of such little children ; only Elke, when she saw the bright- 
eyed girl on the arm of her work-woman whose child had 
been born at the same time as hers, sometimes said sor- 
rowfully: "My baby isn't as far along as yours, Stina!" 
and the woman, shaking the sturdy boy whom she held by 
the hand, with rough love, would answer: "Oh, well, chil- 
dren are different; this one here stole the apples out of 
the pantry before he had passed his second year!" And 
Elke stroked the curly hair out of the fat little boy's eyes 
and then secretly pressed her own quiet child to her 
heart. 

By the time October was coming on the new sluices on 
the west side stood firm in the main dike, which closed on 
both sides, and now, with the exception of the gaps at the 
water-course, fell away with its sloping profile all round 
towards the water sides and rose fifteen feet above the 
ordinary tide. From its northwest corner there was an 
unobstructed view out past levers Islet to the shallows ; but 
the winds here cut in more sharply; they blew one's hair 
about and anyone who wanted to look out from here had to 
have his cap firmly on his head. 

At the end of November, when wind and rain had set in, 
there only remained the opening close up to the old dike to 
be stopped, on the bottom of which, on the north side, the 
sea-water shot through the water-course into the new koog. 
On both sides stood the walls of the dike : the gulf between 
them had now to be closed. Dry summer weather would 
undoubtedly have made the work easier but it had to be 
done now in any case, for if a storm broke the whole con- 
struction might be endangered. And Hauke did his utmost 
to carry the thing to a finish now. The rain streamed 
down, the wind whistled ; but his haggard form on the fiery 
white horse appeared, now here, now there, out of the 
black mass of men who were working above as well as 
below, on the north side of the dike, beside the opening. 
Now he was seen down by the tip-carts which already 
had to bring the clay from far out on the foreland, and of 



THE EIDER OF THE WHITE HORSE 309 

which a compact body was just reaching the water-course 
and sought to dump its load there. Through the splashing 
of the rain and the blustering of the wind were heard from 
time to time the sharp orders of the dikegrave, who wanted 
to be the sole commander there that day; he called up the 
carts according to their numbers and ordered those who 
pushed forward back; "halt" sounded from his lips and 
the work below ceased. "Straw, a load of straw down 
here ! " he called to those above, and from one of the carts 
on the top a load of straw plunged down onto the wet clay. 
Below, men jumped into it, tore it apart and called to those 
above not to bury them. And then new carts came and 
Hauke was already above once more, and looked down 
from his white horse into the gulf, and watched them 
shoveling and dimiping; then he turned Ms eyes out to 
the sea. It was blowing hard and he saw how the fringe 
of water crept farther and farther up the dike and how the 
waves rose higher and higher; he saw too how the Inen 
were dripping and could scarcely breathe at their hard 
work for the wind, 'which cut off the air at their mouths, 
and for the cold rain that streamed down over them. 
' ' Stick to it, men ! Stick to it !" he shouted down to them. 
"Only one foot higher, then it's enough for this tide!" 
And through all the din of the storm the noise of the work- 
men could be heard ; the thud of the masses of clay as they 
were dumped, the rattling of the carts and the rustling of 
the straw as it slid down from above went on unceasingly. 
Now and then the whining of a little yellow dog became 
audible, that was knocked about among the men and teams, 
shivering and as if lost; but suddenly there sounded a 
piteous howl from the little creature, from down below in 
the gulf. Hauke looked down ; he had seen it being thrown 
into the opening from above; an angry flush shot up into 
his face. ' ' Stop ! Hold on ! " he shouted down to the carts, 
for the wet clay was being poured on without interruption. 
"Why?" a rough voice from below called up to him; 
"surely not on account of the wretched beast of a dog?" 



310 THE GEEMAN CLASSICS 

"Stop! I say," shouted Hauke again; "Bring me the 
dog! Our work shall not be stained by any outrage!" 

But not a hand moved ; only a few shovels of sticky clay 
still flew down beside the howling animal. Thereupon he 
put spurs to his horse, so that it shrieked aloud and 
dashed down the dike, and all stood back before him. 
"The dog!" he shouted; "I want the dog!" 

A hand slapped him gently on the shoulder as if it were 
the hand of old Jewe Manners ; but when he looked round 
it was only a friend of the old man's. "Take care, dike- 
grave!" he whispered to Hauke. "You have no friends 
among these men; let the dog be!" 

The wind whistled, the rain streamed ; the men had stuck 
their spades into the ground, some of them had thrown 
them down. Hauke bent down to the old man : "Will you 
hold my horse, Harke Jens?" he asked; and the man had 
scarcely got the reins into his hand before Hauke had 
jumped into the chasm and was holding the little whining 
creature in his arms; and almost in the same instant he 
was up again in the saddle and galloping back up the dike. 
His eyes traveled over the men who were standing by the 
wagons. "Who was it?" he called. "Who threw the 
creature down?" 

For a moment they were all silent; for anger flashed 
from the dikegrave's haggard face and they had super- 
stitious fear of him. From one of the teams a bull-necked 
fellow stepped up to him. "I did not do it, dikegrave," 
he said and biting a little end off a roll of chewing tobacco 
he calmly stuffed that into his mouth before he went on; 
"but whoever did it did right; if your dike is to hold, 
something living must go into it ! " 

'Something living? In what catechism did you learn 
that?" 

"In none, sir," replied the fellow and an insolent laugh 
came from his throat; "even our grandfathers knew that, 
who could certainly have measured themselves with you in 



THE RIDER OF THE WHITE HORSE 311 

Christianity! A child is still better; if that can't be had, 
a dog probably does instead ! ' ' 

"Be silent with your heathenish doctrines!" Hauke 
shouted at him; "it would fill it up better if you were 
thrown in ! " 

" Oh ho ! " The shout rang out from a dozen throats and 
the dikegrave found himself surrounded by wrathful faces 
and clenched fists ; he saw that these were indeed no friends ; 
the thought of his dike came over him with a shock; what 
should he do if they should all throw down their shovels 
now? And as he looked down he saw again old Jewe Man- 
ners' friend going about among the workmen, speaking 
to this one and that, laughing to one, tapping another on 
the shoulder with a friendly smile, and one after the other 
took hold of his spade again ; a few moments more and the 
work was once more in full swing. What more did he 
want? The water-course would have to be closed and he 
hid the dog securely enough in the folds of his cloak. With 
sudden decision he turned his white horse towards the 
nearest wagon: "Straw to the edge!" he shouted com- 
mandingly and mechanically the teamster obeyed; soon it 
rustled down into the depths and on all sides the work 
stirred anew and all hands took hold busily. 

The work had gone on thus for another hour; it was 
after six o'clock and already deep dusk was descending; 
the rain had ceased. Hauke called the superintendents to 
him as he sat on his horse : * ' Tomorrow morning at four 
o'clock," he said, "every man must be at his place; the 
moon will still be up; with God's help we shall be able to 
finish then! And one more thing," he called as they were 
about to go. "Do you know this dog!" and he took the 
trembling animal out of his cloak. 

They replied in the negative; only one of them said: 
"He's been running about begging in the village for days; 
he doesn't belong to anyone!" 

"Then he is mine," said the dikegrave. "Don't forget 
— tomorrow morning at four o'clock!" and rode away. 



312 THE GERMAN CLASSICS 

When he got home Ann Grete was just coming out of 
the door ; she was cleanly and neatly dressed and it passed 
through his mind that she was just on her way to the tailor 
in the conventicle : ' ' Lift up your apron ! " he called to her 
and as she involuntarily obeyed he threw the little dog, 
covered with clay as he was, into it. "Take him to little 
Wienke; he shall be her little playfellow! But wash and 
warm him first, thus you will be doing a deed that is pleas- 
ing to God, for the creature is almost benumbed." 

And Ann Grete could not refuse to obey her master, and 
so on that evening she did not get to the conventicle. 

And on the following day the last touch of a spade was 
put to the new dike; the wind had gone down; now and 
again the gulls and avocets hovered above the land and 
water in graceful flight; from Jevershallig resounded the 
thousand-voiced honking of the barnacle geese that even 
at that time of year were enjoying themselves on the coast 
of the North Sea, and out of the morning mist, which hid 
the broad expanse of marsh, a golden autumn day gradually 
rose and illumined the new work of men's hands. 

A few weeks later the chief dikegrave came with the 
government commissioners to inspect it. A great banquet, 
the first since the funeral repast at the time of old Tede 
Volkerts' death, was given in the dikegrave 's house. All 
the dike commissioners and the men having the largest 
holdings of land in the new koog were invited. After 
dinner the dikegrave 's carriage and all those of the guests 
were got ready. The chief dikegrave put Elke into the gig, 
before which the brown gelding stood stamping; then he 
jumped in himself and took the reins; he wanted to drive 
his dikegrave 's clever wife himself. So they drove off 
merrily from the mound and out into the road, up the way 
to the new dike and along the top of that round, recently 
reclaimed koog. In the meantime a light northwest wind 
had sprung up and the tide was driven up on the north 
and west sides of the new dike ; but it could not fail to be 



THE RIDER OF THE WHITE HORSE 313 

noticed that the gentle slope broke the force of the waves. 
The government commissioners were loud in their praise 
of the dikegrave, soon drowning the doubts that the local 
commissioners now and then hesitatingly uttered. 

This occasion too passed by; but there was still another 
satisfaction in store for the dikegrave one day when he 
was riding along the new dike sunk in quiet self-congratu- 
latory thought. The question might well occur to him why 
the koog, which never would have been there but for him 
and in which the sweat of his brow and his sleepless nights 
were buried, had now been named "the new Caroline 
Koog, ' ' after one of the princesses of the ruling house ; but 
it certainly was so: in all the documents pertaining to it 
that was the name used, in some of them it was even written 
in red Gothic letters. At that point he looked up and saw 
two laborers with their farm implements coming towards 
him, one some twenty paces behind the other : ' ' Wait for 
me, then," he heard the one that was following call; but the 
other, who was just standing at the path that led down into 
the koog, called back : " Some other time, Jens ! It's late; 
I've got to dig clay here !" 

"Where?" 

"Why here, in the Hauke-Haien-Koog ! " 

He called it aloud as he ran down the path as if he wanted 
the whole marsh that lay below to hear. But to Hauke it 
was as if he heard his fame proclaimed; he rose in his 
saddle, put spurs to his horse and looked with steady eyes 
across the broad scene that lay at his left. "Hauke-Haien- 
Koog!" he repeated softly; that sounded as if it could 
never be called anything else. Let them be as obstinate as 
they would, his name could not be downed; the princess' 
name — ^would it not soon exist only in mouldy old docu- 
ments? The white horse galloped on proudly and in 
Hauke 's ears the words continued to ring : ' ' Hauke-Haien- 
Koog ! Hauke-Haien-Koog ! " In Ms thoughts the new dike 
almost grew to be an eighth wonder of the world; in all 
Frieslaijd there was none to equal it ! And he let the white 



314 THE GEEMAN CLASSICS 

horse dance ; he felt as if he stood in the midst of all Fries- 
ians ; he towered ahove them by a head and his keen glance 
swept over them with pity. 

Gradually three years had passed since the building of 
the new dike ; the latter had proved successful and the ex- 
pense of repairs had been but slight. In lihe koog white 
clover was now blooming nearly everywhere and when you 
walked across the protected pastures the summer breeze 
wafted a whole cloud of sweet scent towards you. It had 
been necessary to replace the nominal shares with real ones 
and to assign permanent holdings to each of the men inter- 
ested. Hauke had not been slow in acquiring a few new 
ones himself, before that ; Ole Peters had held back stub- 
bornly ; no part of the new koog belonged to him. Even 
so it had not been possible to make the division without 
vexation and dispute; but it had been done nevertheless, 
and this day too lay behind the dikegrave. 

From then on he lived a lonely life, devoting himself to 
his duties as a farmer and a dikegrave, and to his imme- 
diate family; his old friends were no longer alive and he 
was not fitted to make new ones. But under his roof was 
peace which even his quiet child did not disturb; it spoke 
little ; the continual questioning that is peculiar to brighter 
children seldom came from its lips and when it did it was 
usually in such a way that it was difficult to answer; but 
the dear, simple little face almost always wore an expres- 
sion of content. The little girl had two playfellows and that 
was all she wanted: when she wandered about the mound 
the little yellow dog that Hauke had saved always accom- 
panied her, jumping and springing, and whenever the dog 
appeared little Wienke was not far away either. The dog 
was called "Perle" and her second comrade, a peewit-gull, 
was "Klaus." 

It was a hoary old woman who had installed Klaus at the 
farm; the eighty-year-old Trien' Jans had no longer been 
able to make a living in her cottage on the outside dike, and 



THE EIDEE OF THE WHITE HORSE 315 

Elke had thought that the worn-out servant of her grand- 
father might still find with them a few peaceful hours at 
the end of her life and a comfortable place to die. So half 
by force she and Hauke had fetched the old body to the 
farm and settled her in the little northwest room of the 
new barn, which the dikegrave had been obliged to build 
when he enlarged his place a few years before. A few of 
the maids had been given their rooms next to hers so that 
they could look after her at night. All round the walls 
she had her old household goods ; a strong box made of red 
cedar, above which hung two colored pictures of the prodi- 
gal son, a spinning wheel which had long since been laid 
aside and a very clean four-post bed in front of which stood 
a clumsy foot-stool covered with the white skin of the de- 
ceased Angora cat. But she also still had something 
living, and had brought it with her : this was the gull Klaus 
that had stuck to her for years and been fed by her ; when 
winter came, to be sur©, it flew south with the other gulls 
and did not come again till the wormwood exhaled its 
sweet odor along the shore. 

The barn lay somewhat farther down the mound; from 
her window the old woman could not see out over the dike 
to the sea. "You've got me here like a prisoner," she 
murmured one day when Hauke came in, and pointed with 
her gnarled finger to the fens which lay spread out below. 
"Where is Jeverssand? Out there above the red or above 
the black ox?" 

"What do you want with Jeverssand!" asked Hauke. 

"Oh, never mind Jeverssand," grumbled the old woman. 
* ' But I want to see where, long ago, my lad went to God ! ' ' 

"If you want to see that," replied Hauke, "you must go 
and sit up under the ash-tree ; from there you can look well 
out over the sea." 

"Yes," said, the old woman; "yes, if I had your young 
legs, dikegrave!" 

For a long time such were the thanks for the aid that 
the dikegrave and his wife had given her; then all at once 



316 THE GERMAN CLASSICS 

there was a change. One morning Wienke's little head 
peeped in at her through the half -open door. "Well!" 
called the old woman, who was sitting on her wooden chair 
with her hands clasped, "what message have you got to 
tell me?" 

But the child came silently nearer and looked at her un- 
ceasingly with indifferent eyes. 

"Are you the dikegrave's child?" asked Trien' Jans, and, 
as the child lowered her head as if nodding, she continued: 
"Sit down here on my footstool then! It was an Angora 
tomcat — as big as that! But your father killed him. If 
he were still alive you could ride on him." 

Wienke looked at the white skin dumbly; then she knelt 
down and began to stroke it with her little hands as children 
do a living cat or dog. "Poor Tomcat ! ' ' she said, and. con- 
tinued her caresses. 

"There," exclaimed the old woman after a while, "now 
it's enough; and you can still sit on him today; perhaps 
your father only killed him for that!" Then she lifted the 
child up by both arms and set her down roughly on the 
stool. But as Wienke sat there silent and immovable, only 
looking at her all the time, she began to shake her head: 
"Thou art punishing him. Lord God! Yes, yes. Thou art 
punishing him!" she murmured; but pity for the child 
seemed to come over her after all: she put out her bony 
hand and stroked the little girl's sparse hair and an ex- 
pression came into the child's eyes as if she liked the touch. 

From now on Wienke came to see the old woman in her 
room daily. Soon she sat down of her own accord on the 
Angora footstool and Trien' Jans gave her little pieces of 
meat or bread of which she always kept some on hand, and 
let her throw them on the floor ; then the gull shot out of 
some corner, screeching, with outstretched wings, and fell 
upon them. At first the child used to be frightened and 
screamed at the big flapping bird; but soon it was like a 
game they had learnt, and as soon as she stuck even her 
head through the crack of the door the bird shot out 



THE EIDER OF THE WHITE HOBSE 317 

towards her and lighted on her head or shoulder till the old 
woman came to her aid and the feeding could begin. Trien' 
Jans, who in general could not bear even to have anyone 
stretch out his hand towards her Klaus, now looked on pa- 
tiently while the child gradually won the bird entirely away 
from her. It let Wienke catch it willingly; she carried it 
about and wrapped it in her apron, and, when, on the 
mound, the little yellow dog sometimes sprang about her 
and jumped jealously at the bird, she would cry out : ' ' Not 
you, not you, Perle ! ' ' and would lift the gull so high in her 
little arms that it would free itself and fly away shrieking 
across the mound, and the dog would try to secure its place 
in her arms by jumping and rubbing against his little 
mistress. 

When Hauke's or Elke's eyes chanced to fall on this odd 
group, like four leaves all held fast on one stem by only a 
common lack, a tender glance would indeed fly towards 
their child ; when they turned away there remained in their 
faces only pain which each bore for himself, for they had 
never yet unburdened their hearts to each other about the 
child. One summer morning as Wienke was sitting with the 
old woman and the two animals on the big stone in front of 
the barn door, her parents, the dikegrave with his white 
horse behind him, the reins over his arm, passed by; he 
was going out on the dike and had fetched his horse from 
the fens himself; on the mound his wife had slipped her 
arm through his. The sun shone down warmly; it wars al- 
most sultry, and now and then there came a puff of wind 
from the south-southeast. The child must have found it 
tiresome where she was: "Wienke wants to go," she 
called, shook the gull from her lap, and reached for her 
father's hand. 

"Come along then," he said. 

But Elke exclaimed: "In this wind? She'll be blown 
away!" 

"I'll hold on to her; and the air is warm today and the 
water merry; she can see it dance." 



318 THE GERMAN CLASSICS 

So Elke ran into the house and fetched a little shawl 
and a cap for her child. "But there's going to be bad 
weather," she said; "see that you hurry and go and get 
back again soon." 

Hauke laughed: "That won't catch us!" and lifted the 
child up to his saddle in front of him. Elke remained out 
on the mound for a while and, shading her eyes with her 
hand, watched the two trotting out on the road and over 
to the dike; Trien' Jans sat on the stone and mumbled 
something incomprehensible with her faded lips. 

The child lay without moving in her father's arm; anS it 
seemed as if, oppressed by the thundery air, she were 
breathing with diflSculty. He bent his head to her : "Well, 
Wienke?" he asked. 

The child looked at him for a while. * f Father, ' ' she said, 
"you can surely do that! Can't you do everything?" 

"What ought I to be able to do, Wienke?" 

But she was silent; she seemed not to have understood 
her own question. 

It was high tide ; when they came up on the dike the reflec- 
tion of the sun on the great expanse of water shone in her 
eyes, a whirlwind drove the waves up high in an eddy, and 
others followed and beat splashingly against the shore; 
she clasped her little hands so fearfully about her father's 
fist in which he held the reins that the white horse bounded 
to one side. Her pale blue eyes looked up in confused ter- 
ror to Hauke: "The water. Father, the water!" she cried. 

But he freed himself gently and said : "Be quiet, child, 
you are with your father; the water won't hurt you!" 

She smoothed the pale blonde hair away from her fore- 
head and ventured to look out at the sea again. "It won't 
hurt me," she said trembling; "no, tell it not to hurt us; 
you can do that and then it won't hurt us." 

"I can't do that, child," replied Hauke seriously; "but 
the dike on which we're riding protects us and it was your 
father who thought that out and had it built." 

Her eyes looked at him as if she did not quite understand 



THE EIDEE OF THE WHITE HORSE 319 

that; then she hid her strikingly small head in her father's 
loose coat. 

"Why do you hide yourself, Wienkel" he whispered to 
her; "are you still frightened!" And a trembling voice 
came from the folds of his coat: "Wienke doesn't want to 
see; but you can do everything, can't you, Father?" 

A distant clap of thunder rolled up against the wind. 
"Oh ho!" exclaimed Hauke, "there it comes!" and turned 
his horse to go back. "Now we'll go home to Mother." 

The child drew a deep breath, but not until they had 
reached the mound and the house did she raise her little 
head from her father 's breast. Then in the room when Elke 
had taken off the little shawl and the cap she remained 
standing like a little dumb ninepin in front of her mother. 
"Well, Wienke," said the latter and shook the little girl 
gently, "do you like the great water?" 

But the child opened her eyes wide: "It speaks," she 
said; "Wienke is frightened." 

"It doesn't speak; it ©nly roars and surges." 

The child looked off into the distance. "Has it legs?" 
she asked again; "can it come over the dike?" 

"No, Wienke, your father takes care of that, he is a 
dikegrave. ' ' 

"Yes," said the child and clapped her hands with an 
idiotic smile; "Father can do everything — everything." 
Then suddenly, turning away from her mother, she cried: 
"Let Wienke go to Trien' Jans, she has red apples!" 

And Elke opened the door and let the child out. After 
she had shut it again she looked up at her husband, and an 
expression of the deepest sorrow lay in the eyes which 
hitherto had always brought consolation and courage to 
his aid. 

He held out his hand and pressed hers as if there were 
no need of any further word between them; but she said 
softly: "No, Hauke, let me speak: the child that I have 
borne to you after waiting for years will always remain a 



320 THE GEBMAN CLASSICS 

child. 0, dear God! She is feeble-minded; I must say it 
before you once." 

' ' I have known it a long time, ' ' said Hauke, and held tight 
the hand that his wife- wanted to draw away from him. 

"And so we are still alone after all," she said. 

But Hauke shook his head: "I love her and she throws 

-her little arms around me and presses herself close against 

my breast ; I would not do without that for any treasure ! ' ' 

The woman looked darkly ahead of her: "But why?" 
she said; "What have I, poor mother, done to deserve it?" 

* ' Yes, Elke, I too have asked that, asked Him who alone 
can know; but, as we both know, the Almighty gives men 
no answer — ^perhaps because we should not understand it. ' ' 

He had taken his wife's other hand and drew her gently 
to him: "Don't let yourself grow disturbed and be hin- 
dered in loving your child, as you do ; you can be sure she 
understands that." 

At that Elke threw herself on her husband's breast and 
wept her fill and was no longer alone with her sorrow. 
Then suddenly she smiled at him; after pressing his hand 
vehemently she ran out and fetched her child from old 
Trien' Jans' room, and took her on her lap and fondled 
and kissed her till the little girl said stammeringly : 
"Mother, my dear Mother!" 

Thus the people on the dikegrave's farm lived quietly 
together ; if the child had not been there much would have 
been lacking. 

Gradually the summer went by ; the birds of passage had 
passed through, the air was empty of the song of the larks ; 
only in front of the barns where they picked up grains of 
corn, while the threshing was going on, occasionally one 
or two could be heard as they flew away screeching ; every- 
thing was already hard frozen. In the kitchen of the main 
house old Trien' Jans sat one afternoon on the wooden 
step of a stairway that led up from beside the range to 
the attic. During the last few weeks it seemed as if she 
had returned to life ; she came gladly into the kitchen some- 



THE EIDER OF THE WHITE HORSE 321 

times, and saw Elke at work there ; there could no longer be 
any question of her legs not being able to carry her there, 
since one day when little Wienke had pulled her up there 
by her apron. Now the child knelt at her side and looked 
with her quiet eyes into the flames that flickered up out of 
the stove-hole. One of her little hands clasped the sleeve 
of the old woman, the other lay in her own pale blonde 
hair. Trien' Jans was telling a story: "You know," she 
said, ' ' I was in your great grandfather 's service as a house- 
maid and then I had to feed the pigs ; he was cleverer than 
them all — then, it is terribly long ago, but one evening, the 
moon was shining and they closed the outer sluice and she 
could not get back into the sea. Oh, how she screamed and 
tore her hard shaggy hair with her little fish-hands ! Yes, 
child, I saw it and heard her screaming myself! The 
ditches between the fens were all full of water and the 
moon shining on them made them sparkle like silver and 
she swam from one ditch into the other and lifted her arms 
and struck what were her hands together so that you could 
hear it a long way off, as if she wanted to pray ; but, child, 
those creatures cannot pray. I was sitting in front of the 
door on a few beams that had been brought up there to be 
used in building, and looking far out across the fens ; and 
the water-woman still swam in the ditches, and when she 
raised her arms they too glittered like silver and diamonds. 
At last I did not see her any more and the wild geese and 
gulls that I had not heard the whole time began to fly 
through the air again, hissing and cackling." 

The old woman ceased ; the child had caught up one word. 
"Could not pray?" she asked. "What do you say? Who 
was it?" 

"Child," said the old woman, "it was the water-woman; 
those are accursed creatures who can never be saved. ' ' 

"Never be saved," repeated the child and her little breast 
heaved with a deep sigh as if she had understood that. 

"Trien' Jans," came a deep voice from the kitchen door 
and she started slightly. It was the dikegrave Hauke Haien 

Vol. XI — 21 



322 THE GERMAN CLASSICS 

who was leaning there against the post. "What are you 
saying to the child? Haven't I told you to keep your 
legends to yourself or to tell them to the geese and hens?" 

The old woman looked at him with an angry glance and 
pushed the little girl away from her: "Those are no 
legends," she murmured half to herself, "my great-uncle 
told me that." 

"Your great-uncle, Trien'? Why just now you said you 
had experienced it yourself I" 

"It's all the same," said the old woman; "but you don't 
believe, Hauke Haien; I suppose you want to make my 
great-uncle out a liar." Then she drew nearer to the range 
and stretched her hands out over the flames in the grate. 

The dikegrave threw a glance towards the window; it 
was scarcely dusk as yet outside. ' ' Come, Wienke, ' ' he said 
and drew his feeble-minded child to him ; ' * come with me ; 
I want to show you something from out on the dike ! Only 
we shall have to walk; the white horse is at the black- 
smith's." Then he went with her into the living-room and 
Elke tied thick woolen shawls about the little girl's throat 
and shoulders; soon after her father took her out on the 
old dike towards the northwest, past Jeverssand, to where 
the flats lay broad before them almost farther than the 
eye could reach. 

Part of the time he carried her, part of the time he led 
her by the hand; the twilight deepened gradually; in the 
distance everything disappeared in mist and vapor. But 
there, where one could still see, the invisibly swelling cur- 
rents of the shallows had broken the ice, and, as Hauke 
had once seen it in his youth, smoking fog now rose from 
the cracks along which the uncanny, impish figures were 
once more to be seen hopping towards one another and bow- 
ing and suddenly stretching out wide, in a terrible fashion. 

The child clung to her father in fear and covered her 
little face with his hand : ' ' The sea-devils ! ' ' she whispered 
tremblingly between his fingers; "the sea-devils!" 

He shook his head: "No, Wienke, neither water-women 



THE EIDER OF THE WHITE HOESE 323 

nor sea-devils ; there are no such things ; who told you about 
them?" 

She looked up at him dully but did not answer. He 
stroked her cheeks tenderly: "Just look again," he said; 
"those are only poor hungry birds. Just see how the big 
one spreads his wings now; they are catching the fish that 
come into the steaming cracks. ' ' 

"Fish," repeated Wienke. 

"Yes, child, all those creatures are alive like us, there is 
nothing else. But God is everywhere!" 

Little Wienke had fixed her eyes on the ground and held 
her breath ; she looked as if she were gazing into an abyss 
terrified. Perhaps it only seemed so ; her father looked at 
her long ; he bent down and looked into her little face, but 
no feeling of her imprisoned soul was visible in it. He 
lifted her in his arms and stuck her benumbed hands into 
one of his thick woolen gloves : "there, my little Wienke," 
and the child probably did not hear the tone of intense ten- 
derness in his words — ^' there, warm yourself close to me! 

You are our child after all, our only one. You love us " 

The man's voice broke, but the little girl pressed her head 
tenderly into his rough beard. 

Thus they went home full of peace. 

After the New Year, trouble once more entered into the 
house; the dikegrave was seized with a marsh fever; it 
went hard with him too, and when, under Elke's nursing 
and care, he recovered, he scarcely seemed to be the same 
man. The languor of his body also lay upon his mind, and 
Elke was worried to see how easily content he was at all 
times. Nevertheless towards the end of March he was 
moved to mount his white horse and ride out again for the 
first time along the top of his dike. It was on an afternoon 
and the sun, which had been shining earlier in the day, had 
long since been concealed by the haze. 

A few times during the winter there had been high tides 
but they had done no serious damage; only over on the 



324 THE GERMAN CLASSICS 

other bank a herd of sheep on an islet had been drowned 
and a bit of the foreland had been washed away; here on 
this side and in the new koog no harm worth mentioning 
had been done. But in the previous night a stronger gale 
had raged and now the dikegrave himself had to ride out 
and inspect everything with his own eyes. He had already 
ridden all along the new dike, beginning below at the south- 
east corner, and everything was in good condition, but as 
he came towards the northeast corner where the new dike 
ran up to the old one, the former was indeed uninjured, but 
where before the water-course had reached the old one 
and flowed along beside it, he saw that a great strip of the 
grass-line had been destroyed and washed away, and a 
hollow had been eaten in the body of the dike by the tide, 
which moreover, had thus laid bare a whole maze of mouse- 
passages. Hauke dismounted and inspected the damage 
from near-by: the destructive mouse-passages seemed un- 
mistakably to continue on beyond where they could be 
seen. 

He was seriously frightened; all this should have been 
thought of and prevented at the time the new dike was 
built; as it had been overlooked then it must be taken care 
of now ! The cattle were not yet out on the fens, the grass 
was unusually backward ; in whatever direction he glanced 
it all looked bleak and empty. He mounted his horse and 
rode back and forth along the bank: the tide was low and 
he did not fail to perceive that the current from outside 
had bored a new bed for itself in the mud and had come 
from the northwest against the old dike : the new one how- 
ever, as far as it was involved, had been able to withstand 
the onslaught of the waves owing to its gentler profile. 

A new mountain of annoyance and work rose before the 
dikegrave 's mental vision : not only would the old dike have 
to be strengthened here but its profile would also have to be 
approximated to the new one ; above all, the water-course, 
from which danger now threatened again, would have to 
be diverted by new dams or brush hedges. Once more he 
rode along the new dike to the extreme northwest corner 



THE EIDEE OF THE WHITE HORSE 325 

and then back again, his eyes fixed on the newly channeled 
bed of the water-course, which was plainly to be seen at 
his side in the bared mud. The white horse fretted to go 
on, and snorted and pawed the ground, but Hauke held him 
back; he wanted to ride slowly and he wanted also to 
master the inner disquietude which was fermenting and 
seething within him with ever-increasing strength. 

If a storm should come bringing with it high tides — such 
a one as in 1655, when men and property were swallowed 
up uncounted — ^if it should come again as it had already 
come several times ! — a hot shudder trickled over the rider 
— the old dike, it could never stand the violent attack that 
would be made on it! What, what could be done then? 
There would be one way, and one way only, to save per- 
haps the old koog, and the property and life in it. Hauke 
felt his heart stand still, his usually strong head whirl ; he 
did not speak it aloud, but within him it was spoken clearly 
enough : your koog, the Hauke-Haien-Koog, would have to 
be sacrificed and the new dike broken through. 

Already he saw in imagination the rushing flood break- 
ing in and covering grass and clover with its salt seething 
froth. His spur gashed into the white horse's flank, and 
with a cry it flew forward along the dike and down the 
path that led to the dikegrave 's mound. 

His head full of inward alarm and confused plans, he 
came home. He threw himself into his armchair and when 
EIke entered the room with their daughter he stood up 
again, lifted the child up and kissed her ; then he drove the 
little yellow dog away from him with a few light blows. 
"I've got to go up to the tavern again!" he said and took 
his cap from the peg on the door, where he had only just 
hung it. 

His wife looked at him troubled: "What do you want 
to do there ? It's already growing dark, Hauke. ' ' 

"Dike affairs," he murmured. "I'll meet some of the 
commissioners there. ' ' 

She followed him and pressed his hand, for by the time 
he had finished speaking he was already outside the door. 



326 THE GEEMAN CLASSICS 

Hanke Haien, who hitherto had made all his decisions alone, 
now felt anxious to hear a word from those whose opinions 
he had formerly regarded as scarcely worth considering. 
In the inn he found Ole Peters sitting at the card table 
with two of the commissioners and a man who lived in the 
koog. "You've come from out on the dike, I suppose, dike- 
grave," said the former picking up the half -dealt cards and 
throwing them down again. 

"Yes, Ole," replied Hauke; "I was out there; it looks 
bad." 

"Bad! Well, it will cost a few hundred sods and some 
straw work I suppose ; I was out there too this afternoon." 

"We shan't get off as cheap as that, Ole," answered the 
dikegrave. ' ' The water-course is there again and even if it 
doesn't strike against the old dike from the north now, it 
does from the northwest. ' ' 

"You ought to have left it where you found it," said Ole 
dryly. 

"That means," replied Hauke, "you're not concerned in 
the* new koog and therefore it should not exist. That is 
your own fault. But if we have to plant brush hedges to 
protect the old dike the green clover behind the new one 
will more than make up for that." 

"What do you say, dikegrave?" cried the commissioners; 
"hedges? How many? You like to do everything the most 
expensive way!" 

The cards lay on the table untouched. "I'll tell you, 
dikegrave," said Ole Peters leaning his arms on the table, 
"your new koog that you've foisted on us is eating us up. 
Everyone is still suffering under the cost of your broad 
dike; now it's consuming the old dike too and you want us 
to renew that! Fortunately it's not so bad; it held this 
time and will continue to do so. Just mount your white 
horse again tomorrow and look at it once more." 

Hauke had come to the tavern out of the peace of his 
home. Behind the words he had just heard, which after 
all were fairly moderate, there lay — ^he could not fail to 
riscognize it — an obstinate resistance. It seemed to Tiitti 



THE EIDER OF THE WHITE HOESE 327 

that he lacked the strength he had formerly had to cope 
with it. "I'll do as you advise, Ole," he said: "only I'm 
afraid I shall find it as I saw it today. ' ' 

A restless night followed this day; Hanke tossed sleep- 
lessly about on his pillow. "What is the matter?" asked 
Elke, kept awake by worry about her husband; "if there 
is anything on your mind tell it to me; we have always 
done that." 

"It is not of any consequence, Elke," he replied; "there 
are some repairs to be made to the dike, to the sluices; 
you know that I always have to think such things out in 
my mind at night." He said nothing further; he wanted 
to keep himself free to act as he chose. Without his being 
conscious of it his wife's clear insight and strong mind 
were an obstacle to him in his present weakness and invol- 
untarily he avoided it. 

On the following morning as he came out onto the dike 
he saw a different world from the one he had found the 
day before ; it was indeed low tide again but the day was 
growing and the rays from the bright spring sun fell almost 
perpendicularly on the shallows which extended as far as 
the eye could reach; the white gulls glided calmly hither 
and thither and, invisible above them, high under the azure 
sky the larks sang their eternal melody. Hauke, who did 
not know how nature can deceive us with her charm, stood 
on the northwest corner of the dike and sought the new 
bed of the water-course which had given him such a shock 
the day before ; but with the sunlight darting directly down 
from the zenith he could not even find it at first; not until 
he shaded his eyes with his hand from the dazzling rays 
did it show itself unmistakably. Nevertheless the shadows 
in the dusk of the evening before must have deceived him; 
it was outlined but very weakly now; the mouse-passages 
that had been laid bare must have been more responsible 
for the damage done to the dike than the tide. To be sure, 
it must be changed; but by careful digging and, as Ole 
Peters had said, by fresh sodding and a few rods of straw 
work the damage could be repaired. 



328 THE GEEMAN CLASSICS 

"It wasn't so bad, after all," he said to Mmself with 
relief, ' ' you made a fool of yourself yesterday ! " He called 
the commissioners together and the work was decided upon, 
for the first time without any objection being raised. The 
dikegrave thought he felt a strengthening calm spreading 
through his still weakened body; and in a few weeks every- 
thing was neatly carried out. 

The year went on but the older it grew the more clearly 
the newly laid grass shot up green through its cover- 
ing of straw, with the more agitation did Hauke walk 
or ride past this spot. He turned away his eyes, he rode 
close along the inside of the dike ; several times when he 
would have had to pass the place and his horse was ready 
saddled for him to start he had it led back into the stable ; 
then again, when he had nothing to do there, he would sud- 
denly hurry out there on foot just so as to get away quickly 
and unseen from his mound ; sometimes too he had turned 
back, he had not been able to trust himself to examine the 
dismal place anew; and finally he had felt as if he would 
like to tear everything open again with his hands ; for this 
bit of the dike lay before his eyes like a prick of conscience 
that had taken form outside of him. And yet his hand 
could not touch it again and he could speak of it to no one, 
not even to his wife. Thus September had come; in the 
night a moderate wind had raged and finally had shifted 
to the northwest. On the following dull morning, when the 
tide was low, Hauke rode out on the dike and a start ran 
through him as he let his eyes rove over the shallows; 
there, coming from the northwest he suddenly saw it again 
and cut through more sharply and deeply, the new spectral 
bed of the water-course; exert his eyes as he might, it 
refused to disappear. 

When he came home Elke took his hand; "What is the 
matter, Hauke?" she asked, looking into his gloomy face; 
"surely there is no new misfortune? We are so happy 
now ; I feel as if you were at peace with them all. ' ' 

In the face of -these words he could not express his con- 
fused fear. 



THE EIDEE OF THE WHITE HOESE 329 

"No, Elke," he said, "no one makes an enemy of me; 
only it is a responsible office to protect the community 
from God's sea." 

He freed himself so as to avoid further questioning from 
the wife that he loved. He went into the stable and shed 

9 

as if he had to inspect everything; but he saw nothing 
around him; he was only intent on quieting his prick of 
conscience, on trying to convince himself that it was a 
morbidly exaggerated fear. 

' ' The year of which I am telling you, ' ' said my host, the 
schoolmaster, after a while, "was the year 1756, which 
will never be forgotten about here ; in Hauke Haien 's house 
it brought with it a death. At the end of September the 
almost ninety-year-old Trien' Jans was found dying in the 
room which had been given up to her in the barn. Accord- 
ing to her desire she had been propped up against her 
pillows and her eyes looked through the little leaded panes 
into the distance; there must have been a thinner over a 
denser layer of air lying there along the sky for at this 
moment there was a clear mirage and the sea was reflected 
like a glistening strip of silver above the edge of the dike 
so that it shone dazzlingly into the room; the south end of 
Jeverssand too was visible. 

At the foot of the bed crouched little Wienke and held 
her father's hand tightly in one of hers as he stood close 
by. Death was just engraving the Hippocratic face on the 
dying woman and the child stared breathlessly at the un- 
canny, incomprehensible change in the plain countenance 
with which she was so familiar. "What is she doing? 
What is it. Father?" she whispered fearfully and dug her 
finger nails into her father's hand. 

"She is dying," said the dikegrave. 

"Dying," repeated the child and seemed to fall into con- 
fused thought. 

But the old woman moved her lips once more: "Jins! 
Jins!" a shrill ory of distress broke from her and she 
stretched out her bony arms towards the reflection of the 



330 THE GEEMAN CLASSICS 

sea that glistened outside: "Help me! Help me! You 
are above the water. * * * God have mercy on the others ! ' ' 

Her arms sank, there was a slight cracking of the bed- 
stead; she had ceased to live. 

The child drew a deep sigh and raised her pale eyes 
to her father: "Is she still dying?" she asked. 

"She has finished!" said the dikegrave, and took the 
child in his arms. "She is far away from us now, with 
God." 

"With God," repeated the child and was silent for a 
while as if she were thinking over the words. "Is it good 
to be with God! "• 

"Yes, best of all." But in Hauke's heart the dying 
woman's last words tolled heavily. "God have mercy on 
the others !" — the words sounded softly within him. What 
did the old witch mean? Can the dying prophesy? 

Soon, after Trien' Jans had been buried up by the church, 
there began to be ever louder talk of all kinds of misfortune 
and curious vermin that were said to have frightened the 
people in northern Friesland. And it was certain that on 
the Sunday in Mid-Lent the golden cock had been thrown 
down from the top of the tower by a whirlwind ; and it was 
true too that in midsummer a shower of large insects fell 
from heaven like snow so that it was impossible to open 
one's eyes and they lay nearly as high as a hand on the 
fens and no one had ever seen anything like it. But after 
the end of September when the head-man and the maid Ann 
Grete came back from town where they had driven with 
grain and butter for the market, they climbed down from 
their wagon with faces pale with fear. "What is it? 
What is the matter with you?" cried the other maids, who 
had come running out when they heard the sound of the 
wagon. 

Ann Grete in her traveling dress stepped breathlessly 
into the roomy kitchen. ' ' Oh, hurry up and tell us 1 " called 
the girls again, "where is the misfortune?" 

"Oh, may our dear Jesus protect us!" cried Ann Grete. 
"You know from the other side, across the water, that old 
Molly from Siegelhof — we always stand together with our 



THE EIDER OF THE WHITE HORSE 331 

butter at the corner near the apothecary's — she told me 
about it and Iven Johns said too, 'that means a misfor- 
tune,' he said, 'a misfortune for the whole of northern 
Friesland ; believe me Ann Grete ! ' And ' ' — she lowered her 
voice — "perhaps after all it's not all right with the dike- 
grave 's white horse. ' ' 

' ' Ssh ! Ssh ! ' ' said the other maids. 

"Yes, yes; what does it matter to me! But over there, 
on the other side, it's going on worse than with us ! Not 
only flies and vermin, blood too has fallen like rain from 
heaven; and on the Sunday morning after that when the 
pastor went to his washbasin there were five death's-heads, 
the size of peas, in it, and they all came to see it; in the 
month of August horrible red-headed caterpillars went 
through the land and ate up the grain and flour and bread 
and whatever they could find and no fire was able to destroy 
them!" 

Ann Grete suddenly ceased; none of the maids had no- 
ticed that their mistress had come into the kitchen. "What 
tales are you telling there?" she asked. "Don't let your 
master hear that ! " . And as they all wanted to begin to 
tell her she went on, "It's not necessary; I heard enough 
of it; go about your work, that will do you more good!" 
Then she took Ann Grete with her into the sitting-room to 
go through her market accounts with her. 

So in the dikegrave's house none of the family paid any 
attention to the superstitious gossip that was going about ; 
but it was different in the other houses and the longer the 
evenings grew the more easily did it find its way in. 
Everyone lived as if in an oppressive atmosphere and se- 
cretly people said to themselves that a misfortune, and a 
heavy one, would fall on northern Friesland. 

It was in October, before All Saints ' Day. A strong wind 
had blown from the southwest all day; in the evening the 
crescent moon was in the sky, dark brown clouds drove 
past and a medley of shade and dull light flew across the 
earth ; the storm was growing. In the dikegrave 's room the 



332 THE GERMAN CLASSICS 

empty supper table still stood ; the men had been sent into 
the stable to look after the cattle ; the maids were busy in 
the house and in the attics seeing that the doors and win- 
dows were securely fastened so that the storm should not 
gain an entrance and do damage. Hauke stood beside his 
wife at the window; he had just swallowed doAivn his sup- 
per; he had been out on the dike. He had gone there on 
foot early in the afternoon ; here and there, where the dike 
looked weak, he had had pointed stakes and sacks of clay 
or earth piled up; everywhere he had left men to drive 
in the stakes and make dams with the sacks in front as soon 
as the tide should begin to damage the dike. The largest 
number he had placed at the corner towards the northwest 
at the intersection of the old and new dikes ; their instruc- 
tions were not to leave the places assigned to them except 
in case of necessity. That was what he had left behind 
him and then, scarcely a quarter of an hour ago, he had 
come back to the house wet and disheveled and now, his ear 
fixed on the gusts of winds that rattled the leaded panes, he 
gazed out absently into the wild night ; the clock behind the 
pane of glass in the wall was just striking eight. The 
child, who was standing beside her mother, started and 
buried her head in her mother's dress. "Klaus!" she 
called, crying, "where is my Klaus?" 

She might well ask, for this year, as indeed the year be- 
fore, the gull had not flown away for the winter. Her 
father did not heed the question, but her mother lifted the 
child in her arms. "Your Klaus is in the barn," she said, 
"he has a warm place there." 

"Warm?" said Wienke, "is that good?" 

"Yes, that's good." 

The master still stood at the window. "It won't do any 
longer, Elke," he said; "call one of the girls, the storm 
will break in the panes; the shutters must be screwed on!" 

At her mistress's word the maid had run out; they could 
see from the room how her skirts were blown about; but 
when she unfastened the catch the wind tore the shutter 
out of her hand and threw it against the window so that a 




A GENTLEMAN OF THE OLD SCHOOL 



Jacob Alberts 



THE EIDER OF THE WHITE HORSE 333 

few broken panes flew into the room and one of the lights 
flared and went out. Hauke himself had to go out to help 
and it was only with great difiSoulty that the shutters were 
at last got into place. When they opened the door again 
to come into the house a gust of wind followed them that 
made the glass and silver in the cupboard shake and clat- 
ter; upstairs in the house above their heads the beams 
trembled and cracked as if the gale were trying to tear 
the roof off the walls. But Hauke did not come back into 
the room. Elke heard him walking across the floor towards 
the stable. "The white horse! The white horse, John; 
quick!" She heard him call the order; then he came into 
the room, his hair tumbled but his gray eyes sparkling. 
"The wind has shifted!" he cried, "to the northwest, at 
half spring- tide! No wind; we have never experienced 
such a storm ! ' ' 

Elke had grown as pale as death: "And you must go 
out there again?" 

He seized both her hands and pressed them convulsively : 
"That I must, Elke." 

Slowly she raised her dark eyes to his and for a few 
seconds they looked at each other ; but it was like an eter- 
nity. "Yes, Hauke," answered the woman; "I know well 
that you must!" 

There, was a sound of trotting before the front door. 
She flung herself on Hauke 's neck and for a moment it 
seemed as if she could not let him go ; but that too was only 
for a second. "This is our fight," said Hauke; "you are 
safe here, no tide has ever come up to this house. And pray 
to God to be with me too ! ' ' 

Hauke wrapped himself in his cloak and Elke took a scarf 
and wound it carefully round his neck; she wanted to say 
a word, but her trembling lips refused to utter it. 

Outside the white horse neighed so that it sounded like 
a trumpet in the howling storm. Elke went out with her 
husband; the old ash creaked as if it were being split 
asunder. "Mount, master," called the man, "the white 
horse is as if mad; the rein might break." Hauke threw 



334 THE GERMAN CLASSICS 

his arms round his wife : "I shall be here again at sun- 
rise!" 

Already he had leapt onto his horse ; the animal reared ; 
then, like a war-horse rushing into battle, it charged down 
the mound with its rider out into the night and the howling 
of the storm. "Father, my Father!" cried a child's plain- 
tive voice after him: "my dear Father!" 

Wienke had run out after them in the dark ; but she had 
not gone more than a hundred steps before she stumbled 
against a heap of earth and fell. 

The man Johns brought the crying child back to her 
mother; the latter was leaning against the trunk of the 
ash, the boughs of which lashed the air above her, staring 
out absently into the night in which her husband had dis- 
appeared; when the roaring of the gale and the distant 
thunder of the sea ceased for a moment she started as if 
frightened; she felt as if everything was trying just to 
destroy him and would be dumb instantly when it had got 
him. Her knees trembled, the wind had blown her hair 
down and now played with it at will. ' ' Here is the child ! ' ' 
John shouted to her; "hold her tight!" and he pressed the 
little girl into her mother's arms. 

"The child? I'd forgotten you, Wienke!" she ex- 
claimed; "God forgive me." Then she hugged her to her 
breast as closely as only love can and dropped on her 
knees : "Lord God, and Thou, my Jesus, let us not become 
widow and orphan! Protect him, Oh dear God; only Thou 
and I, we alone know him ! ' ' And there was no more inter- 
ruption to the gale; it resounded and thundered as if the 
whole world were coming to an end in one vast reverbera- 
tion of sound. 

' * Go into the house. Missis ! ' ' said Johns ; ' ' come ! ' ' And 
he helped them and led the two into the house and into the 
sitting-room. 

The dikegrave, Hauke Haien, flew forward on his white 
horse towards the dike. The narrow path was like a mire, 
for excessively heavy rain had fallen in the preceding 
days ; nevertheless the wet sticky clay did not seem to hold 



THE EIDER OF THE WHITE HORSE 335 

the horse's hoofs, it moved as if treading on a firm dry- 
road. The clouds drove across the sky in a mad chase; 
below, the wide marsh lay like an unrecognizable desert 
filled with agitated shades ; from the water behind the dike 
came an ever-increasing dull roar as if it must swallow up 
everything else. "Forward, my white horse!" cried 
Hauke; "we're riding our worst ride!" 

At that moment a sound like a death cry came from 
under his mount's hoofs. He pulled up and looked round; 
at his side, close above the ground, screeching mockingly 
as they went, moved a flock of white gulls, half flying, half 
tossed by the gale ; they were seeking protection on shore. 
One of them — the moon shone fleetingly through the clouds 
— ^lay crushed on the path: it seemed to the rider as if a 
red ribbon fluttered from its neck. "Klaus!" he cried. 
"Poor Klaus!" 

Was it his child's bird? Had it recognized horse and 
rider and tried to seek shelter with them? He did not know. 
"Forward!" he cried again, and the white horse had al- 
ready lifted his hoofs for a new race when suddenly there 
was a pause in the storm and a deathlike silence took its 
place ; it lasted but an instant, then the gale returned with 
renewed fury; but in the meantime the rider's ear had 
caught the sound of men's voices and the faint barking of 
dogs and when he turned his head back towards the village 
he distinguished, in the moonlight that broke forth, people 
on the mounds and in front of the houses busy about wag- 
ons that were loaded high ; he saw, as if in flight, still other 
wagons driving hurriedly towards the upland; the lowing 
of cattle being driven up there out of their warm stables, 
met his ear. ' ' Thank God, they are saving themselves and 
their cattle!" his heart cried; and then came an inward 
shriek of terror: "My wife! My child! No. No; the 
water will not come up to our mound ! " 

But it was only for a moment; everything flew by him 
like a vision. 

A fearful squall came roaring up from the sea and into 
its face horse and rider stormed up the narrow path to the 



336 THE GEEMAN CLASSICS 

dike. Once on top Hauke halted his steed with force. But 
where was the sea? Where Jeverssand? Where lay the 
opposite shore? Nothing but mountains of water faced 
him, rising up threateningly against the night sky, seeking 
to overtop one another in the dreadful dusk, and beating, 
one over the next, on the shore. They came forward with 
white crests, howling, as if the roar of all the terrible beasts 
of prey in the wilderness were in them. The white horse 
pawed the ground and snorted out into the din ; but it came 
over the rider as if here all human power were at an end ; 
as if night, death, chaos must now set in. 

Still he considered : after all it was a storm-tide ; only he 
himself had never seen such a one as that; his wife, his 
child, they were safe on the high mound, in the solid house ; 
but his dike — and pride shot through his heart — the Hauke- 
Haien-Dike, as the people called it ; now was the time for it 
to prove how dikes must be built! 

But — what was this? He was at the angle between the 
two dikes ; where were the men whom he had ordered here, 
whose work it was to watch this spot? He looked north 
up the old dike ; for he had sent a few up there too. Neither 
here nor there could he see a soul; he rode out a piece; 
but still he was alone : only the soughing of the storm and 
the surging of the sea that filled the air to an immeasurable 
distance smote deafeningly on his ear. He turned his horse 
back; he came again to the deserted corner and let his eyes 
pass along the line of the new dike ; he saw distinctly, the 
waves rolled up here more slowly, less violently ; it almost 
seemed as if there were other water there. "It will stand, 
all right!" he murmured and felt a laugh rise within him. 

But his inclination to laugh soon passed as his eyes 
glanced farther along the line of his dike: on the north- 
west corner — ^what was that? He saw a dark swarm of 
moving beings ; he saw how industriously they stirred and 
hurried — there could be no doubt, they were men ! What 
were they trying to do, what work were they doing on his 
dike now ! And already his spurs were in the white horse 's 
flanks and the animal was flying with him thither ; the gale 



THE EID^K OF THE WHITE HORSE 337 

came from the broad side, at times the gusts came with such 
force that they were almost swept down from the dike into 
the new koog; but horse and rider knew where they were 
riding. Hauke already perceived that probably a few 
dozen men were working industriously there together and 
already he saw distinctly that a gutter was cut right across 
through the new dike. Violently he reined in his horse. 
"Stop!" he cried, "stop! What devil's work are you 
doing here ? ' ' 

The men had ceased shoveling with a start when they 
suddenly perceived the dikegrave among them; the wind 
had carried his words to them and he saw that several were 
trying to answer him; but he only caught their vehement 
gestures, for they all stood at his left and what they said 
was carried away by the gale which was so violent out 
here that it hurled them against one another so that they 
were obliged to crowd together. Hauke measured with his 
quick eyes the gutter that had been dug and the height of 
the water which, in spite of the new profile, dashed up 
almost to the top of the dike and spattered horse and rider. 
Only ten minutes more work and then — he saw it distinctly 
— then the high tide would break through the gutter and 
the Hauke-Haien Koog would be buried by the sea ! 

The dikegrave beckoned one of the laborers to the other 
side of his horse. "Now, speak," he shouted, "what are 
you doing here, what is the meaning of this?" 

And the man shouted back: "We've got to break through 
the new dike, sir! So that the old dike doesn't break." 

"What have you got to do?" 

"Break through the new dike!" 

"And flood the koog? What devil ordered you to do 
that?" 

' ' No, sir, no devil ; the commissioner Ole Peters has been 
here; he gave the order!" 

Anger flamed up into the rider's eyes: "Do you know 
me?" he shouted. "Where I am Ole Peters has no orders 
to give! Away with you! Back to your places where I 
left you." 

Vol. XI— 22 



338 THE GERMAN CLASSICS 

« 

And as they hesitated he dashed into the group with 
his horse: "Away, to your own or the devil's grand- 
mother!" 

"Be careful, sir," shouted one of the group and struck 
at the madly careering animal with his spade; but a kick 
from the horse knocked the spade from his hand, another 
fell to the ground. At that moment there suddenly arose a 
shriek from the rest of the group, a shriek such as only 
deathly terror wrests from the human throat; for a moment 
all, even the dikegrave and the horse, stood as if paralyzed ; 
only one of the laborers had extended his arm like a sign- 
post; he pointed to the northwest corner of the two dikes, 
where the new one ran up to the old one. Only the raging 
of the wind and the surging of the water could be heard. 
Hauke turned in his saddle: what was that there? His 
eyes grew large : "By God! A breach! A breach in the 
old dike!" 

"Your fault, dikegrave," shouted a voice from the group. 
"Your fault! Take it with you before God's throne!" 

Hauke 's face, first red with anger, had grown pale as 
death ; the moon which shone on it could not make it whiter ; 
his arms hung limp, he scarcely knew that he held the rein. 
But that too only lasted for a second; already he drew 
himself up, a hard groan broke from his mouth; then 
dumbly he turned his horse and with a snort it raced away 
with him to the east along the dike. The rider's glance 
flew sharply in all directions ; thoughts were whirling in his 
head: What blame had he to bear before God's throne? 
The break through the new dike — ^perhaps they would have 
accomplished it if he had not called "stop!" But — there 
was another thing and his heart grew hot, he knew it only 
too well — the summer before, if only Ole Peters' evil mouth 
had not held him back then — that was where it lay! He 
alone had recognized the weakness of the old dike; he 
should have pushed on the new work in spite of every- 
thing: "Lord God, I confess it," he cried out suddenly 
aloud into the storm. ' ' I have discharged my office badly. ' ' 



THE EIDER OF THE WHITE HORSE 339 

At his left, close to his horse's hoofs, raged the sea; be- 
fore him, now in complete darkness, lay the old koog with 
its mounds and homes; the moon's pale light on the sky 
had disappeared entirely; only at one spot did light shine 
through the darkness. And something like comfort crept 
into the man's heart; it must be shining over from his own 
house, it seemed to him like a message from his wife and 
child. Thank God, they were safe on the high mound! 
The others, certainly, they were already in the upland 
village ; more light glimmered from there than he had ever 
seen before; yes, even high up in the air, probably from 
the church-tower, light shone out into the night. "They 
will all have gone away," said Hauke to himself; "to be 
sure, on more than one mound a house will lie in ruins, bad 
years will come for the flooded fens ; drains and sluices to 
be repaired! We must bear it and I will help, those too 
who have done me harm; only, Lord, my God, be merciful 
to us men!" 

He turned his eyes to the side, towards the new koog; 
about it foamed the sea; but in it lay the peace of night. 
Involuntarily triumphant rejoicing rose in the rider's 
breast: "The Hauke-Haien-Dike, it must stand; it will 
hold after more than a hundred years ! ' ' 

A roar like thunder at his feet roused him from these 
dreams ; the white horse did not want to go on. What was 
that? The horse jumped back and he felt how a piece of 
the dike in front of him plunged down into the depths. He 
opened his eyes wide and shook off all meditation: he had 
stopped close to the old dike, the horse's front feet had 
been on it. Involuntarily he jerked the horse back; at 
that moment the last veiling of clouds swept from the moon 
and the mild planet illumined the horror that seething and 
hissing rushed down before him into the old koog. 

Hauke stared at it senselessly ; it was a deluge, come to 
swallow up man and beast. Then a light shone again into 
his eyes ; it was the same one that he had seen before ; it 
was still burning on his mound; and now as, encouraged, 
he looked down into the koog he perceived that behind the 



340 THE GERMAN CLASSICS 

confusing whirl that dashed down clamorously before him, 
only a breadth of about a hundred feet was inundated; 
beyond that he could clearly distinguish the way that led 
up from the koog. He saw still more: a carriage, no, a 
two-wheeled gig came driving madly up towards the dike ; 
a woman, yes, and a child too, were sitting in it. And now 
— ^was not that the shrill bark of a little dog that was borne 
by on the wind? Almighty God! It was his wife, his 
child! They were already coming quite close and the 
foaming mass of water was rushing towards them. A 
shriek, a shriek of desperation broke from the rider's 
breast: "Elke!" he shouted; "Elke! Back! Back!" 

But wind and sea were not merciful, their raging tossed 
his words away; only the wind had caught his cloak and 
nearly flung him from his horse ; and the approaching ve- 
hicle flew on steadily towards the rushing flood. As he 
looked he saw his wife stretch out her arms as if up towards 
him: had she recognized him? Had longing, had deathly 
anxiety about him driven her out of her secure house ? And 
now — was she shouting a last word to him? These ques- 
tions shot through his mind; they remained unanswered: 
all words from her to him, from him to her were lost ; only 
an uproar as if the world were coming to an end filled their 
ears and excluded all other sounds. 

"My child! Oh Elke, Oh faithful Elke!" cried Hauke 
out into the storm. Another large piece of the dike in front 
of him gave way and thunderingly the sea plunged in after 
it; once more he saw below the horse's head the wheels 
of the conveyance rise up out of the chaotic horror and 
then disappear in a whirl. The fixed eyes of the rider who 
stood so solitary on the dike saw nothing further. "The 
end!" he said softly to himself; then he rode to the edge 
of the abyss where, below him, the waters rushing un- 
cannily were beginning to flood his home village; he still 
saw the light shining from his house ; he felt that the soul 
had gone out of it. He raised himself high in the saddle 
and drove his spurs into the white horse's flanks; the 
animal reared and nearly fell over backwards; but the 



THE EIDER OF THE WHITE HORSE 341 

man's strength forced it down again. "Forward!" he 
cried once more as he had so often urged it on to a steady 
ride. ' ' Take me, God ; spare the others ! ' ' 

Another pressure of the spurs ; a shriek from the white 
horse that rose above the gale and the roar of the waves ; 
then from the plunging stream below a dull splash, a brief 
struggle. 

The moon looked down from above and illumined the 
scene ; but on the dike beneath there was no longer any life 
save that of the savage waters which soon had almost com- 
pletely covered the old koog. But still the mound where 
stood Hauke Haien's home rose up out of the swelling flood, 
the light still shone from there ; and from the upland where 
the houses gradually grew dark, the solitary light from the 
church steeple threw its wavering beams across the seeth- 
ing waves. 

The narrator ceased; I reached out for the filled glass 
that had long been standing before me ; but I did not put 
it to my mouth ; my hand remained lying on the table. 

"That is the story of Hauke Haien," my host began 
again, " as I had to tell it according to my best knowledge. 
Our dikegrave's housekeeper, of course, would have made 
another tale ; for this too people have to report : after the 
flood the white skeleton of the horse was to be seen again 
in the moonlight on Jevershallig as before ; everyone in the 
village believed he saw it. So much is certain: Hauke 
Haien with his wife and child went down in that flood; I 
have not been able to find even their graves up in the 
churchyard; the dead bodies were undoubtedly carried 
back through the breach by the receding water out to sea, 
at the bottom of which they gradually were dissolved into 
their original component parts — thus they had peace from 
men. But the Hauke Haien Dike still stands now after a 
hundred years, and tomorrow if you ride to town and don't 
mind going half an hour out of your way you will have it 
beneath your horse 's hoofs. 



342 THE GERMAN CLASSICS 

"The thanks Jewe Manners once promised the builder 
that the grandchildren should give have not come, as you 
have seen ; for thus it is, sir : they gave Socrates poison to 
drink and our Lord Jesus Christ they nailed to the cross ! It 
is not so easy to do such things as that any longer ; but — to 
make a saint of a man of violence or a malicious bull-necked 
priest, or to make a ghost or a phantom of night of an 
able fellow just because he is a whole head above the rest 
of us — that can be done any day." 

When the earnest little man had said that he got up and 
listened at the window. "It is different out there now," 
he said, and drew the woolen curtain back; it was bright 
moonlight. "See," he continued, "there are the commis- 
sioners coming backj but they are separating, they are going 
home ; there must have been a break over on the other side ; 
the water has fallen. ' ' 

I looked out beside him; the windows upstairs, where we 
were, lay above the edge of the dike ; it was as he had said. 
I took my glass and finished it: "I thank you for this 
evening," I said; "I think we can sleep in peace !" 

"That we can," replied the little man; "I wish you a 
good night's sleep from my heart!" 

In going down I met the dikegrave below in the hall; 
he wanted to take home with him a map that he had left 
in the tap-room. "It's all over," he said. "But our 
schoolmaster has told you a story of his own, I suppose; 
he belongs to the rationalists!" 

"He seems to be a sensible man." 

"Oh yes, certainly; but you can't mistrust your own eyes 
after all. And over on the other side, just as I said it would 
be, the dike is broken!" 

I shrugged my shoulders : "We will have to take counsel 
with our pillows about that ! Good night, dikegrave ! ' ' 

He laughed. ' ' Good night ! ' ' 

The next morning, in the most golden of sunlights, which 
had risen on a wide devastation, I rode along the Hauke 
Haien Dike down to the town. 




STOEM: POEMS 343 



TO A DECEASED* 

UT this is more than I can bear, 

That still the laughing sun is bright, 
As in the days when you were there. 
That clocks are striking, unaware. 
And mark the change of day and night - 

That we, as twilight dims the air, 

Assemble when the day is done. 

And that the place where stood your chair 

Already many others share. 

And that you seem thus missed by none ; 

When meanwhile from the gate below 
The narrow strips of moonlight spare 
Into your vault down deeply go 
And with a ghostly pallid glow 
Are stealing o'er your coflSn there. 



THE CITY* 

The shore is gray, the sea is gray, 
And there the city stands ; 
The mists upon the houses weigh 
And through the calm, the ocean gray 
Eoars dully on the strands. 

There are no rustling woods, there fly 
No birds at all in May, 
The wild goose with its callous cry 
Alone on autumn nights soars by. 
The wind-blown grasses sway. 



' Translator : Margarete MUnsterberg. 



344 THE GERMAN CLASSICS 

And yet my whole heart clings to thee, 
Gray city by the sea ; 
And e 'er the spell of youth for me 
Doth smiling rest on thee, on thee 
Gray city by the sea. 



THE HEATH* 

It is so quiet here. There lies 

The heath in noon's warm sunshine gold. 

A gleam of light, all rosy, flies 

And hovers round the mounds of old. 

The herbs are blooming; fragrance fair 

Now fills the bluish summer air. 

The beetles mish through bush and trees, 

In little golden coats of mail ; 

And on the heather-bells the bees 

Alight pn all its branches frail. 

From out the grass there starts a throng 

Of larks and fills the air with song. 

A lonely house, half -crumbled, low: 
The farmer, in the doorway bent. 
Stands watching in the sunlight's glow 
The busy bees in sweet content. 
And on a stone near by his boy 
Is carving pipes from reeds with joy. 

Scarce trembling through the peace of noon 
The town-clock strikes — from far, it seems. 
The old man's eye-lids droop right soon. 
And of his honey crops he dreams. — 
The sounds that tell our time of stress 
Have not yet readhed this loneliness. 



"TranslatoT: Margarete Mlineterberg. 



STORM: POEMS 345 



CONSOLATION* 

Let oome to me whatever may, 
While you are with me it is day. 

Though in the world I wander far, 
My home is ever — where you are. 

Your face is all in all to me, 
The future's frown I do not see. 



•Translator: Charles Wharton Stork. 




WILHELM RAABE 

By EwaLd Eisbrhardt, Ph.D. 

Assistant Professor of German, University of Rochester 

[ILHELM EAABE was born on the eighth of 
September, 1831, in the little town of Eschers- 
hansen in the Duchy of Braunschweig. He 
received his schooling at the Gymnasiums in 
Holzminden and Wolf enbiittel ; from 1849-53 
he was employed in a bookstore in Magdeburg ; then, while 
living with his mother in Wolf enbiittel, he prepared for the 
university, and later went to Berlin, where he studied chiefly 
history, philosophy, and literature. After the success of 
his first book. Records of Sparrow Lane (1857), he turned 
entirely to authorship. In 1862 he married and moved to 
Stuttgart, where he remained till 1870. From then on 
until his death in 1910 he lived in Braunschweig. Eaabe 
was an extraordinarily productive writer, yet during the 
last ten years of his life he entirely gave up all literary 
activity, and left his last work, Old Folks in the Old Home, 
unfinished. 

The underlying theme of Raabe's writings is the inner 
life of the individual man and his specifically human 
sphere of family, society, community, nation. With this he 
combines a strong preference for what is characteristically 
German, which he loves just as much where it is merely 
German, in fact, German to the point of being odd and 
bizarre, as where it merges into the universally human. 
Eaabe believes, however, that both the peculiarly German 
and the broadly human types are found with greater rich- 
ness and depth among the Germans of the first two-thirds 
of the nineteenth . century than among those of the last 
third. The period before the development of modern 
Germany is that in which he loves best to linger. When 

[346] 



WILHELM EAABE 347 

he forsakes it, he does so to go still farther back, into the 
realm of history proper. 

What was it that interested Kaabe in history? Not so 
much the causal connection of events; not so much his- 
torical growth, as historical conditions. And, moreover, to 
him the outward circumstances are merely the necessary 
premises for what he really wishes to grasp, the spirit of 
a period, the constitution of the folk-soul. The great his- 
torical figures who led up to a period and stand out promi- 
nently in it he pushes into the background. It is the for- 
gotten men and women that he seeks, and he pictures how 
circumstances or events ordered their lives, whether the 
individual lived apart from his age and contrasted with 
the mass, or whether the "milieu" wrought in him a par- 
ticular condition of mind and heart, so that he was drawn 
into situations and events, into the "Zeitgeist," without 
actually exercising any decisive influence. In Else von der 
Tarme the German peasants, at the end of the Thirty 
Years' War, are sunk in "brutish stupor," inwardly and 
outwardly coarsened and demoralized, filled with boundless 
suspicion. When Else, "the purest, holiest flower in the 
horrible devastation of the earth," appears among them, 
they look upon her as something monstrous, they make a 
witch of her, and under their stoning the gentle miracle 
falls stricken at the threshold of the house of God. In 
Sankt Thomas the struggle between Spain and the Nether- 
lands kindles heroism in the heart of a woman who, like a 
phenomenon, interposes in the fight, in which she perishes 
after all, without being able to give its course a favorable 
turn. "That was no longer that Camilla who had swung 
in the hammock. * * * She now appeared as the beautiful 
but deadly genius of this island ; it was as if the destructive 
power of the tropical sun had become embodied in her. 
* * * Camilla Drago, in league with the fire from heaven, 
defended the castell Pavaosa. ' ' In The Crown of the Realm 
the heroine feels the necessity of making her lover go 
through the campaigns in Bohemia and Hungary from 



348 THE GEEMAN CLASSICS 

where he returns afflicted with leprosy. He gives up his 
happiness for lost, but the girl, from whom he has hidden, 
finds him, acknowledges her love for him, nurses him until 
his death and becomes in the end the mother-nurse of the 
exiled lepers. 

We do not really feel this last story to be historical ; for 
the spirit of the age, all the events and even the fate of the 
hero and heroine are far eclipsed by the triumphant 
strength of those powers that, standing above all time, are 
able to determine human life. The Crown of the Realm was 
indeed written after Baabe had tried in The People of the 
Forest and in his trilogy The Hunger Pastor, Abu T elf an, 
and The Dead-Wagon — ^works round which all Eaabe's 
writings circle as round a pole — to comprehend the eter- 
nally problematical in human life and to take up some 
attitude toward it. 

"Gib Acht auf die Gassen!" (Watch the Streets), and 
"Blick auf zu den Sternen!" (Look up to the Stars), are 
the mottos at whose point of intersection lies the life-wis- 
dom of The People of the Forest. To wrestle with the 
factors of every-day life, to have a clear eye for the dif- 
ferent values of these factors, and in general to respect 
the dignity of the common are indispensable to every real 
human life. But, if one is to attain the goals that lie in the 
land of promise, one's gaze must not remain fixed on the 
ground. For the universe and the human soul are, in 
themselves, dark, and receive their light only from the 
shining spheres that we call stars. In man's sky these are 
love, friendship, faith, patience, mercy, courage, hmnility, 
honor. Still more wonderful, however, than the existence 
of these stars is perhaps the fact that originally we did 
not possess them at all, but have only found them in the 
course of thousands of years. And how did they become 
ours? Through life's suffering and distress and infamy. 
Here, indeed, we arrive at the centre of Eaabe's thought 
and work. All that is high in the world has developed 
through friction with what is low, all that is high requires 



WILHELM EAABE 349 

the low. For just as white is seen in all its intensity only 
in contrast with black, so, too, depth of love, nobility of 
mind, strength to aspire are best manifested and unfolded 
in the conflict with selfishness, baseness, indifference, and 
every kind of distress and pain. That is why Hans Un- 
wirrsch has Moses Freudenstein for a companion; that is 
why the author lays so many and such different obstacles 
in his way ; that is why he allows him to attain only to such 
a modest happiness at last; for the satisfied do not hunger, 
and hunger for all that is noble is the meaning of our 
existence. That is why, too, a book like The Hunger Pastor 
exercises, on the whole, no liberative influence; it does, 
however, strengthen and edify our souls and warms our 
hearts with its inner glow. 

But how is it? If the antagonism of those elements that 
increase life and those that weaken it is necessary, must 
they therefore exist eternally beside each other, and to 
which side will the final victory incline? "If ye knew what 
I know, ye would weep much and laugh little : ' ' with these 
words of Mohammed's Abu T elf cm closes. Accordingly 
the ideal, symbolized in The Hunger Pastor by the cobbler's 
luminous ball that accompanies Hans Unwirrsch every- 
where, here finds only a place of refuge in the secluded 
"Katzenmiihle" (cat's mill). Deep resignation is the pre- 
dominant mood of this work. And in the The Dead-Wagon 
the place of the shining ball is taken even by the hearse, and 
the motto of this book is, ' ' The Canaille is lord and remains 
lord. ' ' Antonie Hausler falls into the power of her rascally 
grandfather, and attempts to rescue her fail. Never- 
theless chevalier von Glaubigern reports to Jane Warwolf : 
"I got there in time, she is happy! Believe no one who 
tries to tell you that she died in misery. * * * Pay no 
attention to Hennig and those others about us, they know 
nothing * * *" The chevalier is right. Antonie died, 
but in the triumph of martyrdom, and this triumph, still 
and unnoticed as it was, continues to burn in the hearts 



350 THE GEBMAN CLASSICS 

of the three old people whom we leave at the end of the 
novel in the home for the old and sick in Krodebeck. 

The circle of our trilogy is closed. Light and darkness 
war against each other in all three parts. In The Hwiger 
Pastor love and work finally win both external and internal 
victory; in Ahu T elf an we are left full of worry that light 
is diminishing more and more ; in the The Dead-Wagon the 
deepest shadows prevail, the noble and the life-aflBrming 
forces experience external defeat, but they remain uncon- 
querable in themselves. 

Further than in the The Dead-Wagon a wise author who 
is just to the world may not go in his pessimism, in spite 
of his study of Schopenhauer, if he would not appear to 
indulge in mannerism, to be one-sided. Eaabe does not 
fall a victim to his deep penetration into the hardship and 
infamy of life ; it finally becomes to him merely the means 
to an end. For he thus obtains from his strict conscience 
the right from now on to develop for its own sake a side 
of his talent which had already flashed through almost all 
his works — ^his humor. In whatever relation good and evil, 
happiness and suffering may stand to one another, man 
can not entirely get rid of either of these sides of life. The 
idealist or pessimist seeks to emphasize one of the two 
sides, the realist simply takes them as they are and bears 
them, the humorist tries to reconcile one with the other. 
This reconciliation must, of course, be subjective in its 
nature. It takes place in the mind and heart of the man. 
A humorist like Eaabe allows the oppressive a place within 
him, and is untroubled because he recognizes that it is an 
integral part of his lot, of humanity's lot. He does not 
bear it with ridicule or bitterness, indifference or resigna- 
tion, because he knows he must, but rather he rejoices in 
the strength of his soul, he rejoices that he can do it. In 
the consciousness of this ability he has cast away "the 
fear of the earthly" and looks down smiling on the mys- 
terious play of the forces of life. He smiles at those who 
allow themselves to be consumed by distress, he smiles at 



WILHELM EAABE 351 

his own distress which he has to overcome again and 
again, and is yet affected by grief, is full of the deepest 
sympathy for all creation, for he knows that he is fighting 
a common battle with it all. Humor is hearty, humor is 
brave, humor is full of sunny, smiling wisdom. We have 
works and characters in German literature that are more 
pronouncedly and purely humorous than Raabe's. But 
probably in no other German writer has humor become 
such a controlling mood of life as in him. With no one 
else do we feel the faithful humorous personality of the 
author behind and in his works as we do with Raabe. 
Horacker (1876), Old Familiar Corners (1879), The Hold- 
All (1890) may be quoted here. 

By virtue of its elevation Eaabe 's humor has a quiet and 
certain glance, and is apt to spend its all-embracing sym- 
pathy on what is overlooked, what is insignificant, and in 
all it finds greatness and light hidden and operative. The 
apparently contradictory attracts him whether it appears 
to be contradictory in itself or contradictory to what is 
generally accepted and traditional. He makes friends with 
originals and oddities; he leads us into the isolation of 
small German towns, and we feel at home in their sociabil- 
ity and narrowness, in their affection for things and cus- 
toms of olden times, in their solidity and singularity, in all 
their local joys and sorrows. Among his many stories we 
may refer in this connection to: Der Drdumling (1872), 
Wunnigel (1878), The Horn of Wanza (1880). 

Even in Germany Eaabe became known only slowly. 
This was due to his quiet character that disdained all striv- 
ing after effect, to the intentional mixture of various ele- 
ments in his art which sometimes makes it difficult to 
grasp the purpose of a work as a whole, to his persistent 
pursuit of ends that lay outside the ruling interests of his 
time. When once his countrjnnen began to come to them- 
selves again, however, he did not lack homage. And so it 
will probably continue to be. An age whose interests are 
centered largely in the external side of life will think 



352 THE GEEMAN CLASSICS 

little of him and pass him by, while one whose gaze is 
directed rather within will take the pains to understand and 
appreciate him. May his image never be blotted out en- 
tirely ! For he belongs to those who feel ever rising within 
them the question, "What shall it profit a man, if he shall 
gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?" 




WILHELM RAABE 



WILHELM RAABE 




THE HUNGER PASTOR 

TRANSLATED AND ABRIDGED BY MURIEL ALMON 

Chapter I 

[T is of hnnger that I am going to speak in this 
good book of mine : what it means, what it de- 
sires, what it is able to do. I cannot, to be 
sure, show how, for the world as a whole, 
hunger is both Shiva and Vishnu, destroyer 
and preserver in one; it is for history to show that; but 
I can describe how it works in the individual as destroyer 
and preserver, and will continue so to work till the end 
of the world. 

To hunger, to the sacred power of genuine, true hunger, 
I dedicate these pages, and, indeed, they belong to it by 
rights, as will, I hope, be perfectly clear by the time we 
have reached the end. With this latter assurance I am 
relieved of the necessity of writing a further introduction 
which, after all, would contribute only in the slightest de- 
gree to the reader's comfort, emotion, and excitement; and 
will begin my story with unlimited good will toward my 
fellow men, past, present and future, as well as toward 
myself and all those shadow-figures that will pass before 
me in the course of this tale — reflexes of the great cycle 
of birth, being, and passing away, of the infinite growth 
that is called the evolution of the world — slightly more in- 
teresting and richer than this book, it is true, but, unlike 
this book, not obliged to come to a satisfactory conclusion 
in three parts. 
* ' Here we have the boy at last ! We have him at last — at 

Vol. XI— 23 [ 353 ] 



354 THE GEEMAN CLASSICS 

last!" cried the father of my hero, and drew a long breath 
of relief like a man who, after long, vain yearning, hard 
work, many troubles and cares, had finally reached his 
happy goal. He looked down with wise, shining eyes at 
the tiny, pitiable bit of humanity that the midwife had 
laid in his arms just as the evening bell had sounded. A 
tear stole over the man's haggard cheek and the sharp, 
pointed, wise fatherly nose sank ever lower and lower 
toward the insignificant, scarcely recognizable little nose 
of the new-born infant, till it suddenly rose up again with 
a jerk and turned with anxious inquiry toward the kind, 
capable woman who had contributed so much to his delight. 

"Oh, Mrs. Tiebus — good Mrs. Tiebus, is it really a boy? 
Tell me again that you aren't mistaken — that it is really, 
really so!" 

The midwife, who till now had watched the first tender 
greeting between father and son with self-assured, smiling 
nods of the head, now jerked her nose into the air, dis- 
pelled all the spirits and sprites of good will and content- 
ment which had fluttered about her, with an inimitable 
gesture of both arms, placed them akimbo, and, with scorn, 
contempt, and insulted self-respect, began to speak : 

"Master Unwirrsch, you are a fool! Have your pic- 
ture painted on the wall! ... is it one? Did ever any- 
body hear the like from such a sensible old man and the 
head of a house? . . . Is it one? Master Unwirrsch, next, 
I believe, you'll forget how to tell a boot from a shoe. This 
just shows what a cross it is when God's gift comes so late. 
Isn't that a boy that you've got there in your arms? Isn't 
that really a boy, a fine, proper boy? Lord, if the old crea- 
ture didn't have the poor little thing in his arms I'd like 
to give him a good box on the ears for putting such a silly, 
meddlesome question! Not a boy? Indeed it is a boy. 
Father Pitch-thread — not one of the heaviest, to be sure; 
but still a boy, and a proper boy at that! AnS. how 
shouldn't it be a boy? Isn't Bonnyparty, isn't Napoleum 
on his way again across the water and won't there be war 



THE HUNGER PASTOR 355 

and tussling between today and tomorrow, and don't we 
need boys, and isn't it exactly for that reason that in these 
strange times of ours more boys than girls come into the 
world, and aren't there three boys to one girl? and you 
come to me, to an experienced and sensible person like 
me, and ask such outrageous questions? Have your pic- 
ture painted on the wall, Father Unwirrsch, and have 
written underneath it what I think of you. Here, give the 
boy to me, you don't deserve to have him bother with 
you — go along with you to your wife — perhaps you'll ask 
her too, if it's — a — ^boy!" 

Ungently the infant was snatched from the arms of the 
despised, crushed father and, after getting his breath. Mas- 
ter Anton Unwirrsch hobbled into the bedroom of his wife, 
and the evening bells still rang. But we will not disturb 
either the father and mother or the bells — let them give 
full utterance to their feelings with no one to interfere. 

Poor people and rich.people have different ways of life 
in this world; but when the sun of happiness shines into 
their huts, houses, or palaces, it gilds with the very same 
gold the wooden bench and the velvet chair, the white- 
washed wall and the gilt one, and more than one sly dog 
of a philosopher says he has noticed that as far as joy 
and sorrow are concerned the difference between rich and 
poor people is not nearly as great as both classes often, 
very often, extremely often think. Be that as it may; it 
is enough for us that laughter is not a monopoly nor weep- 
ing an obligation on this spherical, fire-filled ball with its 
flattened poles, onto which we find our way without de- 
siring it, and from which, without desiring it, we depart, 
after the interval between our coming and going has been 
made bitter enough for us. 

The sun now shone into the house of poor people. Hap- 
piness, smiling, stooped to enter the low doorway, both 
her open hands extended in greeting. There was great 
joy over the birth of the son on the part of the parents, 
the shoemaker Unwirrsch and his wife, who had waited for 



356 THE GERMAN CLASSICS 

him so long that they were almost on the point of giving 
up hope altogether. 

And now he had come after all, come an hour before 
work ceased for the day ! All Kroppel Street already knew 
of the event, and the glad tidings had even reached Master 
Nikolaus Griinebaum, the brother of the woman who had 
just given birth to the child, though he lived almost at 
the opposite end of the town. A grinning shoemaker's 
apprentice, carrying his slippers under his arm so as to be 
able to run quicker, bore the news there and shouted it 
breathlessly into Master Griinebaum 's less deaf ear with the 
result that for five minutes the good man looked much 
stupider than he really was. But now he was already 
on his way to Kroppel Street, and as he, a citizen, house- 
holder and resident master of his trade, could not take 
his slippers under his arm, the consequence was that one 
of them deserted him faithlessly at a street corner, to 
begin life with nothing to depend on but its own hands, 
or rather its own sole. 

When Uncle Griinebaum arrived at his brother-in-law's 
house he found so many good women of the neighborhood 
there, giving advice and expressing their opinions, that, in 
his lamentable capacity of old bachelor and pronounced 
woman-hater, he could but appear highly superfluous to 
himself. And he did see himself in this light and would 
almost have turned back if the thought of his brother-in- 
law and fellow-craftsman, left miserably alone in the midst 
of all this "racket" had not enabled him to master his 
feelings after all. Growling and grunting he pushed his 
way through the womenfolk and at last did find his brother- 
in-law in a not very enviable nor brilliant position and 
attitude. 

The poor man had been pushed completely aside. Mrs. 
Tiebus had taken measures to exclude him from his wife 's 
room ; in the living room among the neighbors he was also 
entirely superfluous ; Master Griinebaum finally discovered 
him sitting in a miserable heap on a stool in the corner 



THE HUNGEE PASTOR 357 

■where only the cat that was rubbing against his legs showed 
any sympathy for him. But his eyes were still shining 
with that radiance that seemed to come from another 
world; Master Unwirrsch heard nothing of the women's 
whispering and chattering, saw nothing of the confusion 
that reigned among them, nor did he see his brother-in-law 
till the latter seized him by the shoulder and, not very 
gently, shook him back to consciousness. 

"Give a sign that you're still in the land of the living, 
Anton!" growled Master Griinebaum. "Be a man, and 
drive the womenfolk out, all of them except — except Auntie 
Schlotterbeck there. For although the devil takes them 
one and all, odd and even, still she is the only one among 
them that lets a man get in a word at least once an hour. 
Won't you? Can't you? Don't you dare to? Well, then 
catch hold of my coat behind till I get you out of this 
tumult in safety; come upstairs and let things go on as 
they will down here. So the boy is here? Well, praise 
be to God, I began to think we 'd waited in vain again. ' ' 

The two fellow-craftsmen pushed their way sideways 
through the women, got out into the passage with difficulty, 
and mounted the narrow creaking stairs that led to the 
upper story of the house. There Auntie Schlotterbeck had 
rented a small living room, bedroom and kitchen, which left 
only one room at the disposal of the Unwirrsch family, and 
that was stuffed so full of all kinds of articles that scarcely 
enough space remained for the two worthy guild-brothers 
to squat down and exchange the innermost thoughts of 
their souls. Boxes and chests, bunches of herbs, ears of 
com, bundles of leather, strings of onions, hams, sausages, 
endless odds and ends had here been hung, or flung, stuffed 
or stuck below, above, before, beside and among one an- 
other with a skill that approached genius, and it was no 
wonder that Brother-in-law Griinebaum lost his second 
slipper there. 

But through both the low windows the last rays of the 
sun shone into the room; the comrades were safe from 



358 THE GERMAN CLASSICS 

Mrs. Tiebus and the neighbors. . . . They sat down oppo- 
site each other on two boxes and shook hands for five well- 
counted minutes. 

"Congratulations, Anton!" said Nikolaus Griinebaum. 

"I thank you, Nikolaus !" said Anton Unwirrsch. 

"Hooray, he is here! Hooray, long may he live! And 
again, hoo — " shouted Master Griinebaum with the full 
power of his lungs, but broke off when his brother-in-law 
held his hand over his mouth. 

"Not so loud, for mercy's sake, not so loud, Nik 'las. 
The wife is right underneath us here and has trouble 
enough as it is with all those women." 

The new-made uncle let his fist fall on his knee : 

"You're right. Brother; the devil take them, one and 
all, odd and even. But now let her go, old man, and tell 
us how you feel. Not a bit the way you usually do? Oh 
ho! And how does the little tadpole look? Everything in 
the right place? Nose, mouth, arms, legs? Nothing wrong 
anywhere? Everything in order: straps and legs, upper, 
vamp, heel and. sole? Well pitched, nailed, and neatly 
polished?" 

"Everything as it should be, Brother," cried the happy 
father, rubbing his hands. "A prize boy! May God bless 
us in him! Oh, Nik 'las, I wanted to say a thousand things 
to you, but I choke too much in my throat; everything 
about me goes round " 

"Let it go as it will; when the cat is thrown down from 
the roof she has to take time to collect herself," said Mas- 
ter Griinebaum. "The wife is doing well, I suppose?" 

"Yes, thank God. She behaved like a heroine; an em- 
press couldn't have done better." 

"She is a Griinebaum," said Nikolaus with pride, "and 
in case of necessity the Griinebaums can clench their teeth. 
What name are you going to have the boy called by, 
Anton?" 

The father of the new-born child passed his lean hand 



THE HUNGER PASTOR 359 

over his high, furrowed forehead and stared out of the 
window into space for a few moments. Then he said: 

"He shall be christened after three fellow-craftsmen. He 
shall be called Johannes like the poet in Nuremberg, and 
Jakob like the highly honored philosopher of Goerlitz, and 
the two naiAes shall be to him as two wings on which to 
rise from the earth to the blue sky and take his share of 
light. But as a third name I will give him Nikolaus so 
that he may always know that he has a true friend and 
protector on earth, one to whom he can turn when I am 
no longer here. ' ' 

"I call that a sentence with a head full of sense and 
reason, and a clumsy, ridiculous tail. Give him the names 
and it will be an honor for all three of us, but keep away 
from me with those old foolish notions of death. You're, 
not fat, to be sure, and you couldn't exactly knock an 
ox, down with your bare fist either; but you can draw the 
pitch-thread through the leather for many a long year yet, 
you ruminating bookworm." 

Master Unwirrsch shook his head and changed the sub- 
ject, and the two brothers-in-law discussed this and that 
with each other till it had groA^Ti perfectly dark in the 
storeroom. 

Somebody knocked at the door, and Master Griinebaum 
called : 

' ' Who is there ? No womenfolk will be admitted. ' ' 

"It's I," called a voice outside. 

"Who?" 

"I!" 

"It's Auntie Schlotterbeck," said Unwirrsch. "Push 
the bolt back; we've sat up here long enough; perhaps I 
may see the wife again now." 

His brother-in-law obeyed, growling, and the light from 
Auntie Schlotterbeck 's lamp shone into the room. 

"Here they are, really. Well, come along, you heroes; 
the women have gone. Creep out. Your wife. Master 
Unwirrsch? Yes, she is well taken care of; she is sleeping 



360 THE GEEMAN CLASSICS 

and you mustn't disturb her ; but I've a piece of news that 
you shall hear and thank God. At the house of the Jew, 
Freudenstein, across the street, the same thing happened 
today as in this house; but it wasn't quite the same. The 
child is alive — a boy, too, but Bliimchen Freudenstein is 
dead, and there is great lamentation over there: Praise the 
Lord, Master Unwirrsch; and you, Master Grtinebaum, go 
home. Come, come, Unwirrsch, don't stand there so dumb- 
founded; death enters, or passes by, according to God's 
command. I feel as if I'd been broken on the wheel, and 
am going to bed. Good night to you both." 

Auntie Schlotterbeck disappeared behind her door, the 
two masters stole downstairs on tiptoe, and in the public- 
house which he frequented regularly, Uncle Griinebaum 
had far less to say that evening about politics, municipal 
and other affairs than usual. Master Unwirrsch lay all 
night without closing his eyes; the infant screamed 
mightily, and it was no wonder that these unaccustomed 
tones kept the father awake and stirred up a whirling 
throng of hopes and cares and drove it in a wild chase 
through his heart and head. 

It is not easy to produce a good sermon ; but neither is it 
easy to make a good boot. Skill, much skill is necessary 
to do either, and bunglers and botchers had better keep 
their hands off, if they have any regard for their fellow- 
men's welfare. I, for my part, have an uncommon par- 
tiality for shoemakers, in their totality when they march in 
holiday parades as well as for the individuals. As the 
people say, they are a "ruminating tribe," and no other 
trade produces such excellent and odd peculiarities in the 
members of its guild. The low work-table, the low stool, 
the glass globe filled with water which catches the light 
of the little oil lamp and reflects it with greater brilliance, 
the pungent odor of leather and of pitch must naturally 
exert a lasting effect on human nature, and that is just 
what they do, and powerfully too. What curious originals 
this admirable trade has produced ! A whole library could 



THE HUNGEE PASTOE 361 

be written about "remarkable shoemakers" without the 
materials being in the least exhausted ! The light which 
falls through the hanging glass globe onto the work-table 
is the realm of fantastic spirits; during the meditative 
work it fills the imagination with strange figures and pic- 
tures and gives to thought a tinge that no other lamp, pat- 
ented or unpatented, can lend it. It makes one think of 
all sorts of rhymes, queer legends, marvelous tales and 
merry and sad events of the world which, when they have 
once been put on paper by an unpractised hand, amaze the 
neighbors; at which the shoemaker's wife laughs or is 
afraid when her husband hums them in a low voice in 
the dusk. Or, perhaps, we begin to ponder still deeper, we 
feel the necessity of "unraveling life's beginning." Deeper 
and deeper we look into the glowing globe, and in the 
glass we see the universe in all its forms and natures : we 
pass freely through the portals of all the heavens and 
know them with all their stars and elements ; intuitive per- 
ception opens our minds to sublime visions and we write 
them down while Pastor Eichter, head clergyman of the 
parish, stirs up the mob against us from the pulpit and 
the constable of Goerlitz, who is to fetch us to prison, 
stands before the door. 

"For this is eternity's right and eternal existence, that 
it has only one will. If it had two one would break the 
other and there would be strife. It is indeed great in 
strength and miraculousness ; but its life is but love alone, 
from which light and majesty emanate. All creatures in 
Heaven have one will, and that is directed to God's own 
heart and lives in God's own spirit, in the centre of multi- 
plicity, in growing and blooming; but God's spirit is life 
in all things. Centrum NaturcB gives being, majesty and 
power, and the Holy Ghost is the leader." 

Whoever has anything against shoemakers and does not 
know how to appreciate their excellence individually and 
generally, let him keep away from me. Whoever goes so 
far as to turn up his nose at them contemptuously because 



362 THE GERMAN CLASSICS 

of their often curious appearance, their crooked legs, their 
hard, black paws, their crazy noses, their unkempt tufts 
of hair, is no good to me; if he is lost I shall offer 
no reward for his return. I treasure and love shoemakers, 
and above them all I value the worthy Master Anton 
Unwirrsch, the father of Hans Jakob Nikolaus Unwirrsch. 
Alas, it was not long after those vesper bells had given 
greeting to his first and only born that the evening bells 
of his own day on earth began to ring. Yet there are so 
many threads of his life that run on into his son's that 
we cannot omit a description of his personality and being. 
Physically, as we already know, he stood not very firmly 
on his feet, but mentally he was straight and strong enough 
and could cope with many a man who thought himself far 
superior. All the relics of his hidden life show that he 
did his utmost to make up for the defects of a neglected 
education, that he had a thirst for knowledge — a very keen 
thirst. And even though he never learnt to spell quite 
correctly he yet possessed a poetic soul, like his celebrated 
fellow-craftsman from the "Mouse-trap" in Nuremberg, 
and read as much as he possibly could. Moreover, what 
he read he usually understood too ; and if in some things 
he did not find the meaning that the author had intended, 
he got another meaning out of it or read it into it which 
belonged entirely to him alone and with which the author 
might very often be well content. Although he loved his 
trade and did not neglect it in any way it was no gold 
mine to him, and he remained a poor man. Golden dreams, 
however, his occupation did bring him, and all occupations 
that can do that are good and make those who practise 
them happy. Anton Unwirrsch saw the world from his 
cobbler's stool almost exactly as Hans Sachs had once seen 
it, but he did not become so famous. He left a little book 
in close, fine handwriting which his widow first kept like 
a sacred relic in the depths of her chest, together with 
her hyron book, bridal wreath and a little black box of 
which we shall hear more later on. As she would have a 



THE HUNGEE PASTOR 363 

sacred relic, the mother delivered the little book over to 
her son and he gave it the place of honor in his library 
between the Bible and Shakespeare, although in poetry and 
content it ranks a little below these two. 

Auntie Schlotterbeck and Master Griinebaum had a 
vague suspicion of the existence of this manuscript, but 
only the poet's wife had definite knowledge of it. To her 
it was the most marvelous thing that could be imagined. 
For did it not rhyme "like the hymn book," and had not 
her husband written it? That was far beyond anything 
that the neighborhood could bring to light. 

To the son these leaves, sewed together, were a dear 
legacy and a touching sign that even among the lowly there 
is an eternal striving upward out of the depths and dark- 
ness to the heights, to the light, to beauty. 

The harmless, formless outpourings of shoemaker Un- 
wirrsch's soul were naturally devoted to the phenomena of 
nature, to the home, his handicraft, and certain great facts 
of history, chiefly the deeds and heroes of the War of Lib- 
eration which had just thundered by. They testified to 
thought that, in all these directions, was sometimes charm- 
ingly simple-hearted, sometimes lofty. There was a little 
humor mixed up in it, but it was the pathetic that was 
most prominent and, indeed, most often brought forth the 
familiar smile. The worthy Master Anton had experienced 
so much thunder and lightning, so many hailstorms, fires 
and floods, had seen so many Frenchmen, Rhenish Con- 
federates, Prussians, Austrians and Russians marching 
past his house that it was no wonder if now and then he, 
too, tried his hand a little at lightning and thunder and 
smiting dead. This did not cause any enmity between him 
and his neighbors, for he remained what he was, a "good 
fellow," and when he died he was mourned not alone by 
his wife, his brother-in-law Griinebaum and Auntie Schlot- 
terbeck; no, all Kroppel Street knew and said that a good 
man had passed away and that it was a pity. 

He had waited long and yearningly for the birth of a 



364 THE GERMAN CLASSICS 

son. He often pictured to himself what he could and 
would make of him. He transferred all his earnest striving 
for knowledge to him; the son should and must attain to 
what his father could not. The thousand insurmountable 
obstacles which life had thrown in the way of Master 
Anton should not halt the career of the future Unwirrsch. 
He should find his course clear, and no door of wisdom or 
of education should be closed to him by life's labors and 
hardships. 

Thus did Anton dream, and one year after another of 
his married life passed. A daughter was born, but she 
died soon after ; and then for a long time there came noth- 
ing, and then — then at last came Johannes Jakob Nikolaus 
Unwirrsch, whose entrance into the world has already 
given us the material for a number of the foregoing pages 
and whose later sufferings, joys, adventures, and travels — 
in short, whose destinies will form the greater part of 
this book. 

We saw the brother-in-law and uncle, Grriinebaum, lose 
his slipper, we saw and heard the tumult of the women, 
made the acquaintance of Mrs. Tiebus and Auntie Schlot- 
terbeck; — ^we saw, finally, the two brothers-in-law sitting 
in the storeroom and saw the dusk creeping in after the 
eventful sunset. Master Anton lived one more year after 
the birth of his son and then died of pneumonia. Fate 
treated him as she does many another: she gave him his 
share of joy in his hopes, and refused him their fulfill- 
ment, which, indeed, never can catch up with fleetwinged 
hope itself. 

Johannes screamed lustily in the hour of his father's 
death, but not for his father. But Mrs. Christine cried 
much for her husband and for a long time could not be 
quieted either by Auntie Schlotterbeck's words of consola- 
tion or by the philosophic admonitions of the wise Master 
Nikolaus Griinebaum. The latter promised his dying 
brother-in-law to do his best for those who were left and 
to stand by them in all the crises of life according to his 



THE HUNGEE PASTOE 365 

best ability. Once more Anton Unwirrscb struggled for 
air, but the air for him was too full of flames of fire ; he 
sighed and died. The doctor wrote his death certificate; 
Mrs. Kiebike, the layer-out, came and washed him, his 
coffin was ready at the right time, a goodly train of neigh- 
bors and friends accompanied him to the churchyard, and 
in the corner, beside the stove, sat Mrs. Christine, who held 
her child on her lap and gazed with fixed, red and swollen 
eyes at the low black work-stool and the low black work- 
table and who still could not believe that her Anton would 
never again sit on the one and in front of the other. Auntie 
Schlotterbeck cleared away the empty cake plates, bottles 
and glasses which had been placed, full, before the 
mourners, the pall-bearers and the condoling neighbors to 
give them strength in their sorrow. Hans Jakob Nikolaus 
Unwirrsch crowed with childish joy and stretched out hi^ 
tiny hands longingly toward the shining glass globe above 
his father's table, on which the sun now fell and which 
had shed such a remarkable lustre on Anton Unwirrsch 's 
world of thought. The influence of this globe was long to 
continue. The mother had become so accustomed to its light 
that she could not dispense with it even after her hus- 
band's death; it shone on far into the son's youth, 
Johannes, heard many a tale of his father's worth and ex- 
cellence by its light, and gradually in the son's mind the 
image of his father was joined inseparably to the brilliance 
of this globe. 

Chapteb II 

The ancients thought that it was to be considered a 
great piece of good fortune if the gods allowed a man to 
be born in a famous town. But as this good fortune has 
not fallen to the share of many famous men, such towns 
as Bethlehem, Eisleben, Stratford, Kamenz, Marbach, not 
having formerly been particularly brilliant spots in the 
minds of men, it probably makes little difference to Hans 



366 THE GEEMAN CLASSICS 

Unwirrsch that he first saw the light of the world in a 
little town called Neustadt. There are not a few towns 
and townlets of the same name, but they have not quar- 
reled with one another for the honor of counting our hero 
among their citizens. Johannes Jakob Nikolaus Unwirrsch 
did not make his birthplace more famous in the world. 

In the year 1819 the place had ten thousand inhabitants ; 
today it has a hundred and fifty more. It lay and lies 
in a wide valley, surrounded by hills and mountains from 
which forests extend down to the town limits. In spite 
of its name it is no longer new ; with difficulty it has main- 
tained its existence through wild centuries, and now en- 
joys a quiet, sleepy old age. It has gradually given up the 
hope of ever attaining to bigger things and does not feel 
less comfortable on that account. However, in the little 
State to which it belongs it is after all a factor, and the 
government is considerate of it. The sound of its church- 
bells made a pleasant impression on the wayfarer, as he 
came out of the woods on the nearest height; and when the 
sun just happened to shine in the windows of the two 
churches and of the houses the same wayfarer seldom 
thought that all is not gold that glitters and that the sound 
of bells, fertile fields, green meadows and a pretty little 
town in the valley are far from being enough to produce 
an idyl. Amyntas, Palaemon, Daphnis, Doris and Chloe 
were often able to make life down in the valley very un- 
pleasant for one another. But lads courted and lasses con- 
sented and, taken all in all, they went through life quite 
comfortably, to which the fact that the necessaries of life 
were not unattainably dear, probably contributed. The 
devil take dear old Gessner with all his rustic idyls when 
fruit and must don't turn out well and milk and honey 
are rare in Arcadia! 

But we shall have occasion again here and there to drop 
a few words about all this, and if not it is of no conse- 
quence. For the present we must turn back to the young 



THE HUNGEE PASTOR 367 

Arcadian Hans Unwirrsch and see in what way lie makes 
himself at home in life. 

The shoemaker's widow was truly an uneducated woman. 
She could scarcely read and write, her philosophic educa- 
tion had been entirely neglected, she cried easily and 
willingly. Born in darkness, she remained in darkness, 
nursed her child, stood him on his feet, taught him to walk'; 
put him on his feet for life and taught him to walk firmly 
for the rest of his life. That deserves great credit and the 
most educated mother cannot do more for her child. 

In a low dark room, into which little fresh air and still 
less sun penetrated, Hans awakened to consciousness, and 
in one respect this was good; later he was not too much 
afraid of the caverns in which far the greater part of hu- 
manity that participates in the blessings of civilization, 
must spend its life. Throughout his life he took light and 
air for what they are, articles of luxury which fortune 
gives or refuses and which she seems better pleased to 
refuse than to give. 

The living room which looked out on the street and which 
had also been Master Anton's workshop was kept un- 
changed in its former condition. With anxious care his 
widow watched over it to see that none of her blessed hus- 
band's tools was moved from its place. Uncle Griinebaum 
had indeed wanted to buy all the superfluous stock in trade 
for a very fair price, but Mrs. Christine could not make 
up her mind to part with any of it. In all her leisure hours 
she sat in her usual place beside the low cobbler 's table and 
in the evening, as we know, she could knit or sew or spell 
out the words in her large hymn-book only by the light 
of the glass-globe. 

The poor woman was now obliged to toil miserably in 
order to provide an honest living for herself and her child ; 
in the little bedroom, the windows of which looked out on 
the yard, she lay awake many a night, worrying, while 
Hans Unwirrsch in his father's big bedstead dreamt of 
the large slices of bread and butter and the roUs enjoyed 



368 THE GEEMAN CLASSICS 

by happier neighbors' children. Wise Master Griinebaum 
did what he could for his relatives ; but his trade did not 
yield to him such blessings as one might expect from copy- 
book maxims; he was much too fond of making much too 
long speeches at the "Eed Eam" and his customers pre- 
ferred to trust him with the cure of a pair of sick shoes 
father than to order a new pair from him. He had hard 
work to keep his own head above water; — but he was not 
backward with advice, which he gave willingly and in large 
quantities and we regret to have to add that, as is not 
seldom the case, the quantity usually did not stand at all 
in the proper relation to the quality. Auntie Schlotterbeck, 
although far from being as wise as Master Griinebaum, was 
more practical and it was on her advice that Mrs. Chris- 
tine became a washerwoman, who rose in the morning be- 
tween two anji three o'clock and in the evening at eight, 
dead tired and aching all over, came home to satisfy the 
first, the physical, hunger of her child and to translate his 
dreams into reality. 

Hans Unwirrsch retained dark, vague, curious memories 
of this period in his life and later told his nearest friends 
about them. From his earliest chUdhood he slept lightly 
and so he was often wakened by the glimmer of the sulphur 
match with which his mother lit her lamp in the cold dark 
winter night, in order to get ready for her early walk to 
work. He lay warm among his pillows and did not move 
until his mother bent over him to see whether the click- 
clack of her slippers had not wakened the little sleeper. 
Then he twined his arms about her neck and laughed, re- 
ceived a kiss and the admonition to go to sleep again quick, 
as it wouldn't be day for a long time yet. He followed this 
advice either at once, or not until later. In the latter case 
he watched the burning lamp, his mother and the shadows 
on the wall through half -closed eyelids. 

Curiously enough nearly all these early memories were of 
winter time. There was a ring of vapor round the flame of 
the lamp and the breath was drawn in a cloud toward the 



THE HUNGER PASTOE 369 

light; the frozen window-panes shimmered, it was bitterly 
cold, and with the comfort of his warm safe bed there was 
mixed for the little watcher the dread of the bitter cold 
from which he had to hide his little nose under the cover. 

He could not understand why his. mother got up so early 
while it was so dark and cold and while such mad black 
shadows passed by on the wall, nodded, straightened them- 
selves up and bent down. His ideas of the places where 
his mother went were still less clearly defined; according 
to the mood in which he happened to be he imagined these 
places to be more or less pleasant and with his imaginings 
were mixed all sorts of details out of fairy-tales and frag- 
ments of conversation, that he had heard from grown 
people and which, in these vague moments between sleeping 
and waking, took on more and more variegated colors and 
mixed with one another. 

At last his mother had finished dressing and bent once 
more over the child's bed. Once more he received a kiss, all 
kinds of good admonitions and tempting promises so that 
he should lie still, should not cry, should go to sleep again 
soon. To these were added the assurance that morning and 
Auntie Schlotterbeck would come soon ; the lamp was blown 
out, the room sank back into the deepest darkness, the door 
squeaked, his mother's steps grew fainter; — sleep took 
possession of him again quickly and when he woke the 
second time Auntie Schlotterbeck was generally sitting by 
his bed and the fire was crackling in the stove in the next 
room. 

Although she was not older than Mrs. Christine Un- 
wirrsch, Auntie Schlotterbeck had always been Auntie 
Schlotterbeck. No one in Kroppel Street knew her by any 
other name and she was as well known in Kroppel Street 
as "Old Fritz," emperor "Napoleum" and old Bliicher, al- 
though she bore no other resemblance to these three famous 
heroes -than that she took snuff like the great Prussian 
king, and had an aquiline nose like the "Corsican 

Vol. XI— 24 



370 THE aERMAN CLASSICS 

ravager." As to any resemblance to Marshal "Forward!" 
that would indeed have been difficult to find. 

Auntie Schlotterbeck had formerly also been a washer- 
woman but she had long since been mustered out and man- 
aged to make a wretched living by spinning, knitting stock- 
ings and similar work. The city magistrates had granted 
her a scanty sum as poor-relief, and Master Anton, whose 
very distant relative she was, had, out of kindness, let her 
have the little room which she occupied in his house, for a 
very low price. In reality she would deserve to have a 
whole chapter in this book devoted to her, for she had a 
gift which not everybody can claim; to her those who had 
died had not passed away from the earth, she saw them 
walking through the streets, she met them in the market- 
places looking like living persons and unexpectedly ran into 
them at the street corners. There was not the slightest 
tinge of uncanniness connected with this to her ; she spoke 
of it as of something perfectly natural, usual, and there was 
absolutely no difference to her between the mayor Ecker- 
lein who had died in the year 1769 and who passed her in 
front of the "Lion" pharmacy in his wig and red velvet 
coat, and his grandchild to whom in 1820 this same "Lion" 
pharmacy belonged and who was just looking out of the 
window without being able to take any notice of his august 
grandfather. 

At last even Auntie Schlotterbeck 's acquaintances ceased 
to regard her gift with any feeling of " creepiness. " The 
incredulous ones stopped smiling at it and the credulous — 
of whom there were a good number — no longer blessed 
themselves and clapped their hands together over their 
heads. This high distinction had no detrimental influence 
on the character of the good little woman herself. Auntie 
Schlotterbeck took no undue pride in her strange gift of 
sight; she looked upon it as an undeserved favor from 
God and remained humbler than many other people who 
did not see nearly as much as the elderly spinster in 
Kroppel Street. 



THE HUNGEE PASTOR 371 

As regards appearance, Auntie Sohlotterbeck was of me- 
dium height but she stooped very much when she walked 
and poked her head forward. Her clothes hung on her like 
things that were not in their right place, and her nose, as 
we have already heard, was very sharp and very hooked. 
This nose would have made a disagreeable impression if 
it had not been for her eyes. They made up for all the 
sins her nose committed. They were remarkable eyes and, 
as we know, saw remarkable things too. They remained 
clear and bright even when she was very, very old, — ^young, 
blue eyes in an old, old dried-up face. Hans Unwirrsoh 
never forgot them although later he looked into eyes much 
more beautiful still. 

In a naive way Auntie Sohlotterbeck was devoted to 
learning. She had tremendous respect for scholarship and 
especially for theological learning; little Hans owed her 
his first introduction to all those branches of learning which 
he later mastered more or less. She could have told fairy- 
tales to the Grimm brothers and when the wicked queen 
drove the golden needle into her hated stepdaughter's head 
Hans Unwirrsch felt the point way down to his 
diaphragm. 

Hans and Auntie Sohlotterbeck were inseparable com- 
panions during the first years of the boy's life. From 
early in the morning till late in the evening the seer of 
spirits had to fill his mother's place; nothing that con- 
cerned him was done without her advice and assistance; 
she satisfied his hunger for many things, but it was through 
her that he learnt to know hunger for many other things. 
Uncle Griinebaum growled often enough when he came to 
visit them; nothing good could come of such companion- 
ship with women, he said, the devil take them, one and 
all, odd and even ; crochets, whimseys and spirit-imaginings 
were of no use to any man and only made him an addle- 
pate and a muddlehead. "It's nonsense! That's what I 
say and I'll stick to it." 

In answer to such attacks Auntie Sohlotterbeck merely 



372 THE GERMAN CLASSICS 

shrugged her shoulders and Hans crept closer to her side. 
Growling, as he had come, Uncle Griinebaum departed ; — ^he 
considered himself exceedingly practical and clear-headed 
and snorted contempt through his nose without stopping 
to think that even the best pipe stem may become clogged. 

Hans Unwirrsch was a precocious child and learnt to 
speak almost before he learnt to walk; reading came as 
easily to him as playing. Auntie Schlotterbeck understood 
the difficult art well and only stumbled over words that 
were all too long or all too foreign. She liked to read 
aloud and with a whining pathos which made the greatest 
impression on the child. Her library was composed mainly 
of the Bible, hymn book and a long series of popular 
almanacs which followed one another without a break from 
the year 1790 and each of which contained a touching, a 
comic or a thrilling story besides a treasury of home and 
secret remedies and a fine selection of humorous anecdotes. 
For the lively imagination of a child an infinitely rich world 
was hidden in these old numbers, and spirits of all sorts 
rose out of them, smiled and laughed, grinned, threatened 
and led the young soul alternately through thrills of awe 
and ecstacies. When the rain pelted against the panes, 
when the sun shone into the room, when thunderstorms 
reached across the roofs with black arms of cloud and 
hurled their red flashes above the town, when the thunder 
rolled and the hail pattered and bounded on the street 
pavement, in some way all these things came to be con- 
nected with the figures and scenes in the almanacs and the 
heroes and heroines of the stories strode through good and 
bad weather, perfectly clear, plain and distinct, past 
dreamy little Hans who had laid his head in the old spirit- 
seer's lap. The story of "good little Jasper and pretty 
little Annie" struck a chord in his heart which continued 
to ring through Hans' whole life; but the "book of 
books," the Bible, made a still greater impression on the 
boy. The simple grandeur of the first chapters of Genesis 
cannot but overwhelm children as well as grown people, 



THE HUNGER PASTOR 373 

the poor in spirit as well as the millionaires of intellect. 
Infinitely credible are these stories of the beginnings of 
things and credible they remain even though every day 
it is more clearly proven that the world was not created 
in seven days. At Auntie Schlotterbeck's feet Hans lost 
himself with shuddering delight in the dark abyss of chaos : 
and the earth was without form and void ; — till God divided 
the light from the darkness and the waters which were 
under the firmament from the waters which were above 
the firmament. When sun, moon and stars began their 
dance and God let them be for signs and for seasons 
and for days and years, then he breathed freely again ; and 
when the earth brought forth grass and herb and the tree 
yielding fruit, when the water, the air and the earth 
brought forth abundantly the moving creature that hath 
life and every winged fowl after his kind, then he clapped 
his little hands and felt that he stood on firm ground once 
more. The manner in which God breathed the breath of 
life into Adam was perfectly clear to him and of incon- 
trovertible truth, whereas the first critical doubt arose in 
the child's mind when the woman was created out of the 
man's rib, for "that must hurt." 

But following the simple stories of Paradise, of Cain 
and Abel, of the flood, came the numbering of the tribes 
with the long difficult names. These names were real 
bushes of thorns for reader and listener ; they were pitfalls 
into which they pitched heels over head, they were stones 
over which they stumbled and fell on their noses. Ever 
again they untangled themselves, rose to their feet and 
toiled on with reverential solemnity : but the sons of Gomer 
are these : Ashkenez, Riphath and Togarmah ; and the sons 
of Javan are : Elishah, Tarshish, Kittim and Dodanim. 

But the days did not pass entirely in reading and telling 
stories. Just as soon as Hans Unwirrsch ceased throwing 
his hands about in half involuntary movements or stuffing 
them into his mouth, his mother and Auntie Schlotterbeck 
introduced him to the great principle of work. Auntie 



374 THE GERMAN CLASSICS 

Schlotterbeck was an ingenious woman who earned a little 
extra money by dressing dolls for a large toy factory, an 
occupation which lay near enough to a child's sphere of 
interest and in which, before long, Hans gladly assisted. 
Ladies and gentlemen, peasant lads and lasses, shepherds 
and shepherdesses and many other merry little men and 
women of all classes and ages took form under the hands 
of Auntie Schlotterbeck, who worked bravely with glue and 
needle, pieces of bright-colored fabrics, gold and silver 
tinsel, and gave to each his share of these according to the 
price. It was a philosophic occupation and the worker 
might indulge in many thoughts while engaged in it; Hans 
Unwirrsch took to it kindly even though his childish joy 
in these toys naturally soon disappeared. He who grows 
up in a shop full of jumping-jacks cares little for the in- 
dividual jumping- jack however motley may be his garb and 
however funnily he may jerk his arms and legs. 

After Martinmas, which famous day could unfortunately 
not be celebrated by the consumption of a roast goose, man- 
ufacturing began as an independent undertaking. Auntie 
Schlotterbeck was now able to make the greatest profit out 
of her talent for plastic art; she built little men of raisins 
for the Christmas trade and others of prunes for more 
easily satisfied souls. The first prune-man that Hans com- 
pleted without assistance gave him just as much pleasure 
as the disciple of art takes in the piece of work that wins 
for him a stipend with which to go to Italy. The opening 
of the Christmas-fair was a great event for the little 
modeler. Epic poets describe many feelings by explaining 
why they cannot describe them ; Hans ' feelings on this oc- 
casion were of that kind, and with rapture he carried the 
lantern ahead while, on a little cart, Auntie Schlotterbeck 
dragged her bench, her basket, her fire-pan and a little 
table to the fair. 

The opening of the business, in an angle of the buildings 
that was sheltered from the keenest wind, was in itself a 
marvelous event. To crouch down under the big old um- 



THE HUNGER PASTOR 375 

brella, to fan the glowing coals in the fire-pan by blowing 
on them, to arrange the articles of trade on the table, the 
first quiet and yet expectant glance at the bustle of the 
fair — all these things had a heart-thrilling charm. The 
first prune-man that was bargained about, sold and bought, 
raised a genuine storm of ecstacy in the breast of Schlot- 
terbeck & Company. Dinner, which a good-natured child 
from Kroppel Street brought in an earthenware pot, tasted 
entirely different out on the open market-place from what 
it did at home in the dark room; but best of all was the 
evening with its fog, its gleaming lights and lamps, and its 
redoubled crowding and pushing and shouting and bustling. 

The child could not always sit quietly on the bench beside 
the old woman. Spellbound, in spite of cold, in spite of 
rain and snow, he went on expeditions oyer the whole 
market-place and, as a partner in the firm of Schlotterbeck 
& Company, he pushed his chin onto the table of every 
other firm, with self-assurance and critical attitude. 

At eight o'clock his mother came and took the younger 
partner of the firm of Schlotterbeck home; but this was 
not done without opposition, crying and struggling, and 
only the assurance that "there would be another day to- 
morrow," could, at last, persuade the tiny merchant prince 
to leave the business to the care of Auntie till the hour of 
closing at eleven o'clock. 

One thing that belongs to this period of our hero's life 
must be reported. With the money gained by the sale of 
a raisin-man that he had made himself, he bought — another 
raisin-man from a commercial house which had established 
itself at the opposite end of the market. This bore witness 
to a quality which was of great importance in the boy's 
future development. Hans Unwirrsch, who made these 
black fellows for others, wanted to know where the pleasure 
lay in buying such a fellow oneself. He wanted to get to 
the bottom of this pleasure and naturally found no joy in 
this much too early analysing. When the pennies had been 
swept into the drawer by the seller and the purchaser held 



376 . THE GERMAN CLASSICS 

the creature in Ms hand, the full measure of regret took 
possession of him. Crying loudly he stood in the middle 
of the street and finally threw his purchase far away from 
him and ran off as fast as he could, swallowing the bitterest 
tears as he went. Neither Auntie nor his mother ever 
found out where the groshen, for which one could have 
bought up the whole fair, had gone. 

Winter brings many joys, but with it come also the 
greatest hardships. We have to do with very poor people 
and poor people usually don't begin to live again till 
spring and the maybeetles come. Hundreds of thousands, 
millions of people might well envy those happy creatures 
that sleep through the cold days in comfortable uncon- 
sciousness. 

After Christmas Eve, which was kept as well as it could 
be, came New Year's Day and after that the Three Wise 
Men of the East approached. The shades of many of those 
who were dead passed Auntie Schlotterbeck in the streets 
at this time, or entered the church with her and walked 
round the altar. After Candlemas some people said that 
the days were growing longer but it wasn't very noticeable 
yet. By the time the Annunciation came, however, the fact 
could no longer be denied; the snowdrops had dared to 
come out, the snow could no longer keep the world buried, 
the buds swelled and burst open. Auntie Schlotterbeck 's 
nose lost much of its redness ; when Hans ' mother got up 
early in the morning now the lamp no longer shone through 
a frosty circle of vapor. Hans Unwirrsch no longer yelled 
blue murder in front of the wash basin, and his feet did 
not now have to be forced into his shoes. The means of 
keeping warm was no longer carted into town by loutish 
wood-cutters and sold at a "wicked price." The days now 
arrived when the sun shone for nothing and did not even 
ask a word of thanks. Palm Sunday came before anyone 
realized it and Easter started the weaving of the wreath 
which the festival of joy, the verdant, blooming, jubilant 
Whitsuntide pressed on the young year's brow. Auntie 



THE HUNGER PASTOR 377 

Schlotterbeck now did her knitting on the bench in front 
of the door, and earnestly and shyly Hans Unwirrsch, 
watched Freudenstein, the junk-dealer across the street, as 
he pushed his little Moses, a delicate, thin, miserable little 
piece of humanity, well packed up in cushions and covers, 
out into the sun on a wheelchair. 

Summary of Chaptees III, IV and V 

[The boy, Hans Unwirrsch, was much admired and 
spoilt by his mother and Auntie Schlotterbeck and it was a 
good thing for him when he grew to be of school age. He 
was sent to the charity school. It stood in a dark, blind 
alley and was a damp, one-story building in which the 
teacher, Karl Silberloffel, had to fight equally against gout 
and tuberculosis and against the rude boys and girls he 
taught. Hans was no better than his school-fellows. Just 
as at home he gradually sought to free himself from the 
absolute dominion of the women and began to criticize 
fairy tales and almanac stories, so too at school he joined 
his comrades with word and deed in all their mischievous 
enterprises against the helpless old master. 

Here, however, Uncle Griinebaum's beneficial influence 
stepped in. Hans often visited his uncle in the latter 's un- 
tidy workshop where he only did enough work to earn a 
scanty living for himself and his birds and to pay for the 
Post Courier which provided him with political reading. 
It was particularly interesting just at that time because 
the Greek struggle for independence against the Turks was 
raging and our cobbler, like Auntie Schlotterbeck, was an 
enthusiastic Philhellenist. He called Hans to account and 
tried to make it clear to him that he and his school-fellows 
would drive .their consumptive master into his grave by 
their behavior and that it was no laughing matter to have 
a murder on one's conscience. He advised Hans to be 
careful that the devil did not take him, together with the 
other rogues, because of his conduct. 



378 THE GBEMAN CLASSICS 

Such conversation had its eifect. Hans did not take part 
in the next conspiracy, and did not regret the pummeling 
he received from the other boys on that account, for the 
next morning the teacher did not appear at school in con- 
sequence of a hemorrhage. Not long after he died. Uncle 
Griinebaum and Auntie Schlotterbeck were kind to him 
during his last illness, and Hans with Auntie Schlotterbeck 
stood beside the bed of the dying man. The exhausted man 
spoke of the bitterness of his life, but Auntie Schlotterbeck 
understood little and Hans nothing of what he said. He 
talked of how he had been hungry for love and thirsty for 
knowledge and of how everything else had been as nothing ; 
of how he had lived in the shade and yet had been born for 
the light; of how shining, golden fruit had fallen all around 
him, while his hands were bound. Nothing had fallen to 
his share but his yearning, and that too was coming to an 
end. He would be satisfied — in death. 

Much as Hans had felt the solemn shudder of death, on 
the day after the funeral, which had been attended by the 
whole charity school, he was already playing again mer- 
rily in the street. Snow had fallen in the night and a 
mighty snow-man was built in Kroppel Street. When he 
was finished and the boys were playing together, Moses 
Freudenstein, the junk-dealer's son, happened to get into 
the crowd. They formed a ring about him and made him 
hold out his hand to each in turn and every young Chris- 
tian spit into it with a shout of scorn. Up to that hour 
Hans had howled with the wolves in such things too, but 
now it flashed through him in an instant that something 
very low and cowardly was being done. He did not spit 
into Moses' hand, but struck it away and, turning pro- 
tector, started to do battle for the Jewish boy. A fearful 
fight ensued, the end of which was that Hans and Moses, 
dizzy, bruised, with bleeding mouths and swollen eyes, 
rolled down into the shop of the junk-dealer, Samuel 
Freudenstein. This hour had an incalculable influence on 
Hans Unwirrsch's life, for he rolled out of the street battle 



THE HUNGER PASTOR 379 

into relations which were to be infinitely important for 
him. 

Samuel Freudenstein had seen more of the world than 
all the other Neustadians together. After extensive com- 
mercial journeys, especially in Southeastern Europe, he 
had settled in Neustadt and begun to trade in second-hand 
goods and junk, as heavy losses in a speculation prevented 
his embarking on a greater enterprise. He got on, and 
married, but his wife died at the birth of their son in 
1819, on the very day when Hans Unwirrsch, too, was born. 
Samuel Freudenstein brought up his son in his own way, 
which in many respects differed widely from the curriculum 
of the charity school. 

Samuel thanked Hans for the protection he had given 
Moses, and Hans' mother and Uncle Griinebaum allowed 
him to continue his visits to the Jew's house. Hans now 
discovered so many wonders in the gloom of the junkshop 
that for the first time his life seemed to be filled with real 
substance. At the same time he mounted a rung higher 
on the ladder of knowledge by entering the lowest class 
of the grammar school. On this occasion Uncle Griine- 
baum did not fail to make one of his finest and longest 
speeches and to present Hans with his first pair of high 
boots. 

Now, too, for the first time Hans entered into a more in- 
timate relation with the other sex. He found his first love, 
Sophie, the daughter of an apple-woman. With her cat, 
Sophie sat in her mother's booth opposite the school, sold 
her fruit with seriousness and had difliculty, on her way 
home, in defending herself and her cat from the rough 
schoolboys. Hans lent her his protection and he and Moses 
kept up a friendly intercourse with her through the spring 
and summer. But in the course of the winter one of the 
diseases of childhood carried her off, and her companion, 
the cat, did not long outlive her. The death of little Sophie 
and the cat made a deep impression on Hans. He did not 
become friends with any other girl at present; but from 



380 THE GEEMAN CLASSICS 

now on the second-hand «hop gained an ever greater in- 
fluence over him. 

In this enchanted cave Hans saw the father, Samuel, go- 
ing about, like a magician, with brush and glue-pot, stuffing 
birds and quadrupeds, collecting curious goblets and 
tankards, buying up odd portraits of other people's an- 
cestors. He listened attentively when father and son 
talked of the history of their race, he lost himself com- 
pletely in old Dutch descriptions of travel, with their cop- 
perplates, one day he even saw a real ostrich-egg. Moses 
was far ahead of Hans in all branches of knowledge. 
Samuel Freudenstein had taught his son that knowledge 
and money were the two most effective means of power 
and now they were both indefatigable, the son in acquiring 
the former, the father in accumulating the latter. Things 
were well classified in Moses' head, he could find what he 
wanted there, any minute; — he had never been a child, a 
real, true, natural child. 

Hans IJnwirrsch, on the other hand, remained a real 
child. His imagination still retained its dominion over his 
reason ; the circle in which he stood, like any other human 
child, now expanded and became filled with ever gayer, 
brighter, more enticing figures, scenes and dreams. 

One evening Hans came meditatively out of the darkness 
of the junk-shop, hurried across to his mother's house and 
there, in answer to Auntie Sohlotterbeck's questions, 
blurted out that Moses was going to learn Latin and go to 
the "Gymnasium" while he should have to be a cobbler and 
stay a cobbler all his life. Unfortunately for Hans these 
words were overheard by Uncle Griinebaum, who happened 
to be present and whom Hans had not noticed. There fol- 
lowed a dangerous scene. First Auntie Schlotterbeck had 
to protect Hans so that his indignant relative, as uncle, god- 
father, guardian, and master of the laudable trade of shoe- 
making, did not half kill him but merely squeezed him be- 
tween his knees and talked urgently to him till Hans, yield- 
ing to the double pressure, declared himself to be in 



THE HUNGEE PASTOE 381 

thorougli agreement with his uncle's views. Then Auntie 
Schlotterbeck changed from defence to attack. She read 
Uncle Griinebaum a lecture on his own conduct^ reminding 
him that he was not looked up to anywhere but on the 
bench behind his mug of beer in the "Eed Earn," that he 
neglected his house and trade and was indeed no shining 
example of what the trade of shoemaking turned out. 
When she finally threatened to call Frau Christine to her 
aid the doughty cobbler speedily took a flight. 

In the evening, however, he appeared as a hero in the 
"Eed Eam," where he conducted himself like a great poli- 
tician, for which role the news, which had just come, of 
the outbreak of a revolution in Paris, offered him a 
splendid opportunity. He finally went to bed rather tipsy 
and fully convinced of his greatness, and slept the sleep 
of the just, which Hans Unwirrsch did not do, nor his 
mother, nor Auntie Schlotterbeck either.] 



Chapter VI 

A LOVELY, fine night had followed the day; the moon 
shone above all Europe and its peoples. All the clouds had 
been driven away and now lay loweringly on the Atlantic 
Ocean: all who could sleep, slept; but not everyone could 
sleep. 

Bridal night and night of death in one! Through the 
woods the brooks flashed their silver sparks; the great 
streams flowed on, calm and shining. The woods, meadows 
and fields, the lakes, rivers and brooks — they were all in 
full harmony with the moon, but the odd pygmy-folk, men, 
in their cities and villages, far from being in harmony with 
themselves, left much to be desired i;i that respect. If 
she had not been the "gentle" moon, if she had not had 
a good reputation to maintain, she would not have lighted 
mankind, in spite of all the poets and lovers. She was 
gentle, and shone ; — moreover, perhaps, she was touched by 



382 THE GERMAN CLASSICS 

the confidence of the municipal authorities, who depended 
on her, and on her account did not light the street lamps. 

She shone with the same brilliance and calm on all Eu- 
rope—on the poor, tumultuous city of Paris where so many 
dead still lay unburied and so many wounded wrestled with 
death, and on the tiny town of Neustadt in its wide, peace- 
ful valley. She glanced softly into the over-crowded hos- 
pitals and morgues ; — she glanced softly into the traveling- 
coach of Charles X. and not less softly into the low cham- 
ber in which lay Christine Unwirrsch with her boy. 

The child slept, but the mother lay awake and could not 
sleep for thinking of what she had heard when she came 
home so tired after her hard work. 

It had taken her a long time to understand the confused 
report that Hans and Auntie Schlotterbeck had given ; she 
was a simple woman who needed time before she could 
grasp anything that lay beyond her daily work and her 
poor household. To be sure, when once she did understand 
a thing she could analyze it properly and intelligently and 
copsider and weigh the pros and cons of every detail ; but 
she could scarcely understand in its broadest outlines this, 
her child's, aspiration out of the darkness toward the light. 

She only knew that in this child the same hunger had 
now made itself apparent, from which her Anton had suf- 
fered, that hunger which she did not understand and for 
which she nevertheless had such respect, that hunger which 
had so tormented her beloved, sainted husband, the hunger 
for books and for the marvelous things which lay hidden 
in them. The years which had passed since her husband 
had been carried to the grave had not blurred a single 
remembrance. -In the heart and mind of the quiet woman 
the good man still lived with all his peculiarities, even the 
smallest and most insignificant of which death had trans- 
figured and transformed into a good quality. How he 
paused in his work to gaze for minutes into the glass globe 
in front of bis lamp in self-forgetfulness, how on his walks, 
on a beautiful holiday, he would suddenly stand still and 



.../ 



THE HUNaER PASTOB 383 

look at the ground and at the blue dome above, how at 
night he woke and sat awake for hours in bed, murmuring 
unconnected words — all that was not, and never could be, 
forgotten. How the good man had toiled or at his trade 
between sighs and flushes of joy, cheerful and depressed 
moods, — how in his rare leisure hours he had studied so 
hard and, above all, what hopes he had set on his son and 
with what wonderful aspirations he had dreamt of this 
son's future — all lay clear before Christine Unwirrsch's 
soul. 

The mother raised herself on her pillow and looked over 
at her child's bed. The moonlight played on the counter- 
pane and the pillows and transfigured the face of the sleep- 
ing boy who had cried himself to sleep after telling his sor- 
rowful tale, and on whose cheeks the traces of tears were 
still to be seen, although he now smiled again in his slum- 
ber and knew no more of the day's trouble. Round about 
the town of Neustadt the birds of night stirred in the 
bushes and along the edges of the streams and ponds ; the 
night-watchman's hoarse voice sounded now near, now far; 
the clocks of the two churches quarreled about the right 
time and were of very different opinions ; all the bats and 
owls of Neustadt were very lively, knowing their hours 
exactly and never making a mistake of a minute; mice 
squeaked in the wall of the bedroom and one mouse rustled 
under Mrs. Christine's bed; a bluebottle that could not 
sleep either flew about buzzing, now here, now there, now 
banging his head against the window, now against the wall 
and seeking in vain for some way out; in the next room 
the grandfather's chair behind the stove cracked and there 
was such a weird and ghostly pattering and creeping about 
in the attic that it was hard to adhere to the soothing belief 
in "cats." Mrs. Christine Unwirrsch, who, being gifted 
with a foreboding mind, usually had a keen and fearful ear 
for all the noises and sounds of the night and who did not 
in the least doubt the penetration of the spirit-world into 
her bedroom, had no time in this night to listen to these 



384 THE GERMAN CLASSICS 

things and get goose-flesh in consequence. Her heart was 
too full of other matters and 'the ghosts that roam between 
earth and heaven and play at will on the nerves of men 
had no power over her. The mother felt her responsi- 
bility for the destiny of her child weigh heavy upon her 
and although she was a poor, ignorant woman she was not 
therefore less concerned; indeed, her concern was perhaps 
greater because her idea of her child's desire was incom- 
plete and inadequate. 

She looked long at sleeping Hans till the moon glided on 
in the firmament and the rays slipped from the bed and 
slowly retired toward the window. When at last complete 
darkness filled the room she sighed deeply and whispered: 

"His father wished itj and no one shall set himself 
against his father's will. God will surely help me, poor, 
stupid woman that I am, to make it come out right. His 
father wished it and the child shall have his way accord- 
ing to his father's will." 

She rose quietly from her couch and crept out of the 
room with bare feet, so as not to wake the sleeping boy. In 
the living room she lit the lamp. She sat down for a few 
moments on her husband's work-chair and wiped the tears 
from her eyes.; and then she carried the light to that chest 
in the corner of which we have already told, knelt down 
and opened the ancient lock which offered obstinate re- 
sistance to the key as long as possible. 

When the lid was laid back the room was filled with 
the scent of clean linen and dried herbs, rosemary and 
lavender. This chest contained everything precious and 
valuable that Mrs. Christine possessed and carefully she 
controlled herself so that no tear should fall into it. Care- 
fully she laid back the white and colored linen, smoothing 
each fold as she did so ; carefully she laid aside the little 
boxes with old, trivial knickknacks, broken, cheap jewelry, 
loose amber beads, bracelets of colored glass beads and 
similar treasures of the poor and of children, until, nearly 
at the bottom of the chest, she came to what she was seek- 



THE HUNGEE PASTOR 385 

ing in the stillness of the night. With timid hand she first 
pulled out a little case with a glass cover; her head sank 
lower as she opened it. It contained Master Anton's book 
of songs and on the book lay a dried myrtle wreath. It 
was as if distant bells, the tones of an organ trembled 
through the night and through the soul of the kneeling 
woman; Auntie Schlotterbeck did not see the dead alive 
more clearly and distinctly than Christine Unwirrsch saw 
them at that moment. She folded her hands above the 
open case and her lips moved softly. No other prayer 
came to her mind but ' ' Our Father ' ' and that sufficed. 

A second case stood beside the first, an old box made of 
oak, trimmed with iron, with a strong lock, an ingenious 
piece of work belonging to the seventeenth century, which 
had been in the possession of the Unwirrsches for genera- 
tions. Mrs. Christine carried this box to the table and be- 
fore she opened it she put everything back in its place 
in the chest; she loved order in all things and did nothing 
in haste even now. 

It was a bright light that the little lamp and the hanging 
glass globe gave, but the box on the table, black with age 
as it was, outshone them both, its contents spoke louder 
of the preciousness of parents' love than if its price had 
been announced by a thousand trumpets in all the market- 
places of the world. The lock turned, the lid sprang open : 
money was in the box! — much, much money — silver coins 
of all kinds and even one gold piece wrapped in tissue 
paper. Eich people might well have smiled at the treasure 
but if they had had to pay the true value of every thaler and 
florin all their riches might not have sufficed to buy the con- 
tents of the black box. Hunger and sweat had been paid 
for every coin and a thousand noble thoughts and beau- 
tiful dreams clung to each. A thousand hopes lay in the 
dark box. Master Anton had hidden his purest self in it, 
and Christine Unwirrsch had added all her love and her 
faithfulness. 

Vol. XI — 25 



386 THE GERMAN CLASSICS 

Who, just looking at the scanty heap of well-fingered 
pieces of money, could have imagined all this? 

A little book, consisting of a few sheets of gray paper 
stitched together, lay beside the money; the father's hand 
had filled the first pages with letters and figures but then 
death had closed worthy Master Anton's account and for 
many years now the mother had done the bookkeeping, by 
faith, without letters and figures, and the account still 
balanced. 

How often had Christine Unwirrsch gone hungry to bed, 
how often had she suffered all possible hardships without 
yielding to the temptation to reach out her hand for the 
black box! In every form distress had approached her in 
her miserable widowhood, but she had resisted with 
heroism. Even without letters and figures, she could ren- 
der her account at any moment; — it was not her fault if 
the happy, honorable future which the dead man had 
dreamt of for his son did not rise out of the black box. 

Mrs. Christine sat in front of the table for more than 
an hour that night, counting on her fingers and calculating, 
while across the street in a little back room of the junk- 
dealer's house a man also sat figuring and counting. 
Samuel Freudenstein, too, was sitting up for his sleeping 
boy's sake. More than a few rolls of gold pieces, more 
than a few rolls of silver pieces lay before him; he had 
more to throw into his child's scales of fortune than the 
poor widow. 

"I will arm him with everything that is a weapon," he 
murmured. "They shall find him prepared in every way, 
and he shall laugh at them. He shall become a great man ; 
he shall have everything that he wants. I was a slave, he 
shall be a master among a strange people, and I will live 
in his life. He has a good head, a sharp eye ; he will make 
his way. He shall think of his father when he has reached 
the height; I will live in his life." 

The widow divided her scanty day's wages into two 
parts. The greater part fell into the oak box and was 



THE HUNGER PASTOR 387 

added to the other savings of long years of toil, and the 
small coins gave a clear ring. Samuel Freudenstein added 
more than a hundred shining thalers to his son's fortune; 
no one in Kroppel Street as much as suspected what a rich 
man the junk-dealer had again gradually grown to be. 

The moonlight had entirely disappeared from the 
widow's bedroom when she crept shiveringly back from the 
living room. Hans Unwirrsch still slept soundly and not 
even the kiss that his mother pressed on his forehead 
waked him. The lamp too went out and Mrs. Christine 
soon slept as peacefully as her child. About the bed of 
King Solomon stood sixty strong men with swords in their 
hands, skilled in battle, "for the sake of the fear in the 
night"; but at the head of the widow and her child there 
stood a spirit that kept better watch than all the armed 
men in Israel. 

Throughout nearly the whole summer the battle with 
Uncle Griinebaum wen^ on. It was long since the world 
had seen such an obstinate cobbler. Tears, pleadings, and 
remonstrances did not soften, touch or convince him. A 
man who could hold his own with the Seven Wise Masters, 
in every respect, could not be moved from his standpoint 
so easily by two silly women and a stupid boy. He had re- 
solved in his shaggy, manly breast that Hans Unwirrsch, 
like all the other Unwirrsehes and Griinebaums, should be- 
come a shoemaker and with a mocking whistle he repulsed 
every attack on his understanding, his reason and his 
heart. Scarcely a day passed on Ti^^hich he did not with 
his piping rouse Auntie Schlotterbeck from her calm. The 
more irritated the women grew, the hotter in their argu- 
ments, the sharper in their words, the more melodious did 
Uncle Griinebaum become. He generally accompanied the 
beginning of every new discussion with a valiant, warlike 
tune and brought the conversation to a vain conclusion 
with the most melting, yearning melodies. 

* ' Master Griinebaum, Master Griinebaum, ' ' cried Auntie, 
"if the child is unhappy later it will be your fault — ^your 



388 THE GERMAN CLASSICS 

fault alone! I have never seen a man like you in all my 
born days." 

Whether Prince Eugene's song was sung as an answer 
to these words was open to doubt: Master Griinebaum 
whistled it like "himself a Turk." 

"Oh, Niklas," cried his sister, "what kind of a man 
are you? He is such a good child and his teachers are so 
satisfied with him and his father wanted him to learn 
everything that there is to learn. Think of Anton, Niklas, 
and do give in, please do, I beg you to." 

Uncle Griinebaum did not give in for a long time yet. 
He expressed the thought that cobbling was also a fine, 
meditative, learned business and that "trade is the mother 
of money, ' ' very strikingly by means of the melody : ' ' The 
linen-weavers have a fine old guild," but refused to say 
more. 

"That's right, go on whistling!" screamed Auntie 
Schlotterbeck with her arms angrily akimbo. "Go on 
whistling, you fool ! But I tell you, you may stand on your 
head, the child shall go to the great schools and the univer- 
sities nevertheless. Sit there like a blind bullfinch and go 
on whistling. Cousin Christine, don't cry, don't show him 
you care, it only gives him a wicked pleasure. Such a 
tyrant! Such a barbarian! And after all, it's your child, 
not his ! But the Lord will set things right, I know, so do 
take your apron from your eyes. Keep on whistling now, 
Master Griinebaum, but remember, you'll answer for it 
by and by; think what you will say to Master Anton up 
above when the time comes!" 

It seemed as if when the time came Uncle Griinebaum 
intended to justify himself to his sainted brother-in-law 
by the beautiful song: "A squirrel sat on the thorny 
hedge" — at least he whistled it with pensive emotion, and 
twiddled his thumbs in accompaniment. 

"Oh, Niklas, what a hard-hearted man you are!" sobbed 
his sister. "Auntie is right, you will never be able to jus- 



THE HUNGEE PASTOR 389 

tify yourself for what you are doing to your brother-in- 
law's child " 

"And it's better to be a rag-picker than such a shiftless 
cobbler who wastes the time God has given him at the beer 
table in the Eed Earn. And a creature like that wants to 
balk and kick out behind if a poor child wants to get ahead ! 
If he'd only wash his hands and comb his hair, the fellow! 
I'd like to see anybody that would want to take him for an 
example and a model. There isn't anybody else like him 
and a man like that wants to keep others from washing 
themselves and being an honor to their parents. But I 
build on God, Master Griinebaum. He'll show you what 
you really are. It's really absurd that a man wants to 
play the guardian who can 't even guard himself. ' ' 

The melody "Kindly moon, thou glidest softly" must 
have a very soothing effect indeed on human feelings ; Uncle 
Griinebaum whistled it meltingly as long as Auntie Schlot- 
terbeck continued to speak, and however great may have 
been the anger that boiled in his breast, the world saw 
nothing of it. When Hans Unwirrsch came home from 
school with his bag of books he found the two women in 
a very excited state with scarlet faces, and his uncle quite 
composed, even-tempered and calm; — he did indeed guess 
what they had been talking about again but he seldom 
learnt any of the details of the discussion. 

Usually Uncle Griinebaum took his departure while 
whistling a hymn or some other solemn air and at the same 
time pinching poor Hans ' ear with a grin ; Mephistopheles 
might have envied him his smile and after he had gone the 
women generally dropped on the nearest chairs, exhausted 
and broken in spirit, and for several hours were incapable 
of believing in human and divine justice. 

In the cornfields the scythes flashed and swished; Uncle 
Griinebaum had still not given in. Without the aid of any 
wind all kinds of fruit detached themselves from the 
branches and fell to the ground; Uncle Griinebaum held 
more obstinately to his opinion than ever. Silver threads 



390 THE GERMAN CLASSICS 

spread over the earth and wavered through the air : Uncle 
Griinebaum did not waver with them but laughed scornfully 
from his low three-legged stool. The foliage in the woods 
changed daily to an ever gayer hue, but Uncle Griine- 
baum 's view of the world and life did not change. Moses 
Freudenstein boasted more and more proudly in his 
triumph, and Hans Unwirrsch's expression grew more and 
more miserable and depressed. The song-birds chirped 
their last melodies and prepared for their flight to the 
South: Uncle Griinebaum joined in the chirping, but he 
put his trust in the psalmist's promise "so shalt thou dwell 
in the land and verily thou shalt be fed," for he was too 
thoroughly convinced that he was indispensable in 
Neustadt, in the "Red Ram" and in his family. No Deus ex 
machina descended to bring aid to poor Hans and so he 
finally had no alternative but to help himself. He carried 
out a plan which had required a long time to mature in 
his mind, thus throwing Auntie Schlotterbeck and his 
mother into giddy amazement and putting his stiff-necked 
Uncle Griinebaum entirely beside himself. 

One Sunday morning at the beginning of September Pro- 
fessor Blasius Fackler, doctor of philosophy and one of the 
lights of the local "Gymnasium," ruled alone in his house 
and felt safe and comfortable, as he seldom did, in his 
study. 

His wife with her two daughters was at church, in all 
probability praying to God to forgive her for the agitated 
hours which she occasionally caused the "good man," thiat 
is, her lord and master. The maid had absented herself 
on private business; the house was still, it was indeed a 
gray day that looked into the study filled with clouds of 
tobacco smoke, but the joyful soul of the professor roamed 
over a blue welkin with the song-book of Quintus Valerius 
Catullus and drank in the ecstatic moments of freedom, — 

Vivamus, mea Lesbia, atque amemus, 
rumoresque senum severiorum 
omnes unius aestimemus assis. 



THE HUNGEE PASTOR 391 

He strolled in the shade of the pomegranates and pines 
by the lake of Benakus on the blessed peninsula of Sirmio 
and the sparkling rhythmic waves of the Eoman poet 
washed into nothingness all thoughts of the present and 
of that Lesbia who at that moment was singing sharply 
and shrilly in the church. He failed to hear the sound 
of the doorbell, did not catch the timidly soft tread that 
mounted the stairs; he was not roused till something 
scratched and tapped gently at his door. Quickly the Latin 
rogue Catullus hid himself under a heap of more serious 
scholarly equipment, and with dignity the professor and 
doctor of philosophy called: 

"Come in!" 

No one accepted the invitation and it was repeated more 
loudly, but this time too without success. Bewildered, the 
scholar rose from his chair, drew his long dressing-gown 
tight about him, and now with still greater amazement ad- 
mitted a tiny laddie of about eleven years into his study, 
a laddie who trembled in every joint and over whose cheeks 
the tears ran down. No one was present at the interview 
that this visitor had with Professor Fackler and we cannot 
give the details of the conversation. Only this we can say, 
that when Lesbia returned from church with her two 
daughters, the charming pledges of the "thousands and 
thousands of kisses," she found her husband in a very 
pleased mood. He did not give her the attention which 
she expected from him but continued to straddle up and 
down the room and to murmur: 

"I declare! A plucky little fellow! Puer tenax propo- 
siti! He shall have his way! By all the gods of Olympus 
he shall attain what he desires and may it be of benefit 
to him!" 

"What shall be of benefit? Of benefit to whom, 
Blasius?" asked Lesbia, laying down her hymn-book. 

' * Someone shall be taken by the heel and dipped into the 
Styx, dearest, so that he may be proof against the afflic- 
tions of life and emerge victorious from the battle of men." 



392 THE GERMAN CLASSICS 

"This is one of your silly, incomprehensible days, Blas- 
ius," cried Mrs. Fackler, with vexation and looked as if she 
would have liked to give her husband a good shaking. For- 
tunately, however, at that moment Eugenia and Cornelia 
came running in and hung on their father's arms with all 
kinds of childish questions and requests. The latter 
pointed to their mother and quoted with hollow voice : 

"Jove tonante, fulgurante, comitia populi habere nefas," 

drew on his coat, put on his hat, took his stick, went out 
and — paid a visit to Uncle Griinebaum. Uncle Nikolaus 
Griinebaum, however, to his own "highest perplexity"' 
made a long, beautiful speech that afternoon in Kroppel 
Street to the accompaniment of some most excellent coffee 
which Auntie Schlotterbeck had brewed, and expressed 
himself more or less in the following expectoration : 

"Inasmuch as a cobbler is a noble and honorable calling 
yet nevertheless all the children of men cannot be cobblers, 
but there must also be other people, tailors, bakers, car- 
penters, masons and such like, so that every feeling and 
sentiment may be provided for and no sense be left without 
its necessary protection. But also because there are other 
wants in the world and man needs much before and prior 
to the time when he needs nothing more, there are also 
advocates and doctors more than too many and in addition 
professors and pastors more than enough. But God lets 
things go on as they will and the devil takes one and all, 
odd and even, which is to say that a boy who wants to 
choose his occupation must look far ahead and consider 
carefully in which direction his bent lies, for it has hap- 
pened more than once that an ass has thought that he could 
play the lute. But it isn't everyone who can make a boot 
either, it isn't as easy as it looks. Now there are present 
here Christine Unwirrsch, widow of the late Anton Un- 
wirrsch, secondly the unmarried spinster Schlotterbeck, 
also a very good specimen of sound common sense and 



THE HUNGEE PASTOE 393 

natural ability. Moreover, there is present, Master Nik 'las 
Grriinebaum, who am not up in the air, either, but without 
wanting to boast, stand squs*rely on my feet. Before these 
three there stands the individual whom the matter con- 
cerns, Hans Jakob Nik 'las Unwirrsch, who at least has 
demonstrated himself to be a youth of courage and who has 
sought to trip up his dearest relatives behind their backs. 
Such a little bantam!" 

Both women raised their hands to beseech the blessing 
of heaven on the youthful genius, Hans Unwirrsch ; but his 
uncle continued. 

"When the professor stood in front of me all of a sud- 
den, I said to myself, ' Steady, Griinebaum, hold on to your 
chair!' Such a boy! But the professor is an estimable, 
reasonable, pleasant gentleman and so the long and short 
of the matter is this, that from half past eleven this morn- 
ing on, I will have nothing more to do with it and will wash 
my hands. ' ' 

"In which you do very well. Master Griinebaum," said 
Auntie Schlotterbeck. 

"And so things may go as they like, the devil takes both 
odd and even!" concluded Uncle Griinebaum. 

"Nik 'las!" cried Mrs. Christine, irritated, "I hope that 
my son will never have to do with the devil either in an odd 
or even way, and as for letting things go as they like, I 
hope he won't do that either." 

"Come, come, don't be sacrilegious and touchy," growled 
her brother. "Well then, what I and Professor Fackler 
wanted to say, as an over-learned individual is still a man 
after all, you shall have your way, my boy, as far as we 
are concerned. Enough, I have said it! And I don't sup- 
pose the highly laudable profession of cobbling will lose 
any miracle in you, scamp." 

The mother's feelings found relief in a stream of tears. 
Auntie Schlotterbeck nearly melted away with joyful emo- 
tion ; Hans Unwirrsch was never able afterwards to give an 
account of his feelings in that hour, either to himself or 



394 THE GEEMAN CLASSICS 

to others. But the person who remained entirely unmoved 
and calm, or seemed to, was Uncle Grriinebaum. He com- 
placently pressed the tobacco down in his short pipe with 
his cobbler's thumb, closed the lid carefully like a man who 
has done a good work and who at most will allow the credit 
ttiat rightly belongs to him to be entered in the great 
ledger of heaven. 

But however he might appear, he had lost his power over 
his nephew and could never regain it. From the moment 
when Hans Unwirrsch gave the rudder of his life such an 
effective jerk with his own small hand, he confronted the 
worthy master with a fully enfranchised will of his own and 
the latter 's amazement and bewilderment were only the 
more boundless, the greater the equanimity that he dis- 
played. 

Destinies had to be fulfilled and Hans Unwirrsch started 
on the road that Anton Unwirrsch had not been allowed to 
travel. The following noon Auntie Schlotterbeck met the 
deceased master; he was bent and hung his head in his 
usual manner, but he smiled contentedly. 



Stjmmaby of Chapter VII 

[Hans and Moses now worked on from class to class 
through the "Gymnasium." But the way that led through 
the vocabulary, declinations and conjugations to the open 
and sunny clearness of classical antiquity was considerably 
more difiScult for Hans than for Moses, for the former 
wanted to realize the beauty of the classic age in his imag- 
ination, while the latter contented himself with the effort 
to understand it and to master the languages in which it 
has come doAvn to us. But in every act of mental work 
Moses' highest aim was to forge weapons with which to 
meet the world. He despised or smUed at everyone who 
did not, like himself, sacrifice all other qualities in order 
to forge and whet the keen-edged sword of reason, and 



THE HUNGEE PASTOE 395 

excepted neither his "half-childish" father nor his good- 
natured friend. Hans UnwirrSch, on the contrary, did 
not forget what he owed to his parents' self-denial and 
heroism, and all the sacrifices that poverty demanded of 
him became for him precious duties, as is ever the case 
with noble natures. Professor Fackler remained his pater* 
nal friend and also put him in the way of making his first 
earnings by recommending him as a tutor for the two sons 
of the director of a government office named Triififler. At 
the same time this afforded Hans the opportunity to see 
something of so-called "higher social life." Although it 
was only with the deepest humility that he raised his eyes 
to the goddesses of this other world, the director's daugh- 
ters, yet there were times when he was in danger of despis- 
ing Uncle Griinebaum and underestimating Auntie Schlot- 
terbeck. Against his will, however, the sardonic Moses 
rendered him valuable service in this respect. The latter 
analyzed Hans' feelings, to him and explained that he was 
tormented by envy. Once having recognized this condition 
the value of his mother's home became clear to him again 
and he was irresistibly drawn back into its simple, heart- 
refreshing atmosphere.] 



Chapter VIII 

Uncle Gkunebaum in holiday raiment was a dignified, 
substantial, self-assured and firm figure. Whoever took a 
fleeting glance at him at first was usually so pleasantly sur- 
prised that he followed the glance with steady observation 
lasting some minutes, observation which Uncle Griinebaum 
either permitted with admirable composure or put an end to 
by an inimitable: "Well?" according to the person who 
made it. 

In his Sunday raiment Uncle Nik 'las Griinebaum stood at 
the corner opposite the "Gymnasium" and resembled an 
angel in so far as he wore a long blue coat which, to be sure. 



396 THE GERMAN CLASSICS 

as far as the cut was concerned, had little in common with 
the garments in saints' pictures. The waist of this coat 
had heen placed hy the manufacturer as near as possible 
to the back of the neck and two non plus ultra buttons 
marked its beginning. The pockets showed themselves 
plainly in the lower region of the coat-tails and a short pipe 
with gracefully dangling tassels looked curiously out of 
one of them. Uncle Griinebaum wore a yellow and brown 
striped waist-coat and trousers of a greenish blue color, 
somewhat too short but of agreeable construction, too tight 
above, too wide below. The watch charms which swung be- 
neath the stomach of the worthy man would really deserve 
several pages of description, and we will say nothing of 
his hat, for fear that we should then be carried irresistibly 
beyond the limits of the space at our disposal. 

Wherefore did Uncle Griinebaum, dressed in his Sunday 
clothes on an ordinary week-day, stand at the corner oppo- 
site the "Gymnasium"? Tell us. Oh Muse, the reason of 
this! You have observed Master Nik 'las long enough, elo- 
quent calliope, turn your divine eye toward the school- 
house and tell us, like a good girl who hasn't it in her heart 
to let anyone dangle long, what is going on in there ! 

Truly, there was reason enough for more than one of the 
persons who have been mentioned in these pages to be ex- 
cited, for on this Wednesday before Maundy Thursday 
Hans Unwirrsch and Moses Freudenstein were taking their 
final examination and, if they should pass, would thus <!on- 
clude their school life. 

That was why Uncle Griinebaum had taken an unusual 
holiday and stood at the corner in festive attire, that was 
why he held his position in the market-day crowd with an 
obstinacy that deserved recognition, that was why he 
plucked so convulsively at the coat buttons of those ac- 
quaintances who incautiously inquired into the reason of 
his unusually elaborate get-up. It was most unwillingly 
that Master Griinebaum let go of any of the buttons that 
he took hold of that day. His soul was full of the impor- 



THE- HUNGER PASTOR 397 

tant event. It might be regarded from almost too many 
points of view! If what was going on over there in the 
school-house should turn out as was expected and desired, 
whom would the world have to thank for it? None other 
than the honorable Master Griinebaum! When the con- 
fused neighbor or acquaintance had finally torn himself out 
of Master Griinebaum 's grasp, he was far from being clear 
for some minutes as to who it was that was being examined 
by Professor Fackler, Uncle Griinebaum or Uncle Griine- 
baum 's nephew, Hans Unwirrsch. 

At twelve o 'clock the examination was to be over and 
from moment to moment Uncle Griinebaum 's nervous sys- 
tem vibrated more and more violently. He took off his hat 
and wiped his forehead with his handkerchief; he clapped 
it on again, pushed it back, pushed it forward, to the right 
and to the left. He took his long coat-tails under his arms 
and dropped them again; he blew his nose so that the re- 
port could be heard three streets off. He began to talk 
aloud to himself and gesticulated much at the same time, 
to the high edification of all the male and female gapers in 
the shop doors and behind the windows nearby. The mar- 
ket-women whose path he had blocked all the morning, 
often set down their baskets of eggs and vegetables and 
their cans of milk in order to make him budge, at least 
morally, but he was deaf to their pointed suggestions. On 
that day he would have let even a dog treat him contemptu- 
ously. 

At a quarter to twelve he drank his sixth glass of bitters 
in the nearest grocer's shop and it was high time that he 
did so, for he felt so weak on his feet that he was nearly 
ready to fall. From now on he held his watch, an heirloom 
for which a collector of curiosities would have paid much 
money, convulsively in his trembling hand and when the 
clock of the town church struck twelve he nearly went 
home and to bed, "finished and done for." 

He drank another glass of bitters; it was the seventh, 
and together with the others it had its effect, and its con- 



398 THE GEEMAN CLASSICS 

sequences were more noticeable than those of the previous 
ones. 

Uncle Griinebaum now leant firmly against the wall; he 
smiled through tears. From time to time he made gestures 
of warding something off as if he would drive uninvited 
feelings back within bounds ; it was fortunate for him that 
at this hour the younger portion of the population was 
abandoning itself to the pleasures of the dinner table — 
this spared him many affronts and ironical remarks. He 
bega!n to attract the attention of the police and they, ma- 
ternally concerned about him, gave him the advice not to 
wait any longer but to go home, the result of which was 
only that he leant still more firmly against the wall and 
with displeased grunts, snorts and hiccoughs gave utter- 
ance to his intention to wait at that comer for "the lad" 
till doomsday. Since as yet he did not seriously disturb 
the public peace, the police retired a little but kept a sharp 
eye upon him ready at any moment to spring forward and 
seize him. 

Fortunately not only the laudable protectors of public 
safety watched over Master Nik 'las but also his guardian 
angel, or rather, the latter just returned from attending 
to some private business, to resume his watch. He saw 
with horror how matters stood and it was most probably 
due to his mediation that over in the school-house a violent 
shock ran suddenly through the learned soul of Professor 
Fackler as he-reinembered his Lesbia waiting for him to 
come home to dinner. He glanced hastily at his watch and 
jumped from his seat; the other gentlemen rustled after 
him, secundum ordinem. The candidates, before whose 
eyes everything had gradually begun to swim, rose also, 
dizzy, sweating and exhausted. Uncle Griinebaum now 
had to keep his balance for only a short quarter of an hour 
more ; — at a quarter to one he sank, he fell, he toppled into 
the arms of his pale, excited nephew — Victory! Hans Un- 
wirrsch had triumphed. Master Griinebaum had tri- 
umphed ; the one over the questions of seven examining in- 



THE HUNGEE PASTOR 399 

struotors, the other over the seven glasses of bitters — ^Vic- 
tory! 

Professor Fackler wanted to go up to Hans' uncle to 
congratulate him but refrained in shocked surprise when 
he recognized the excellent man's upset condition; Moses 
Freudenstein, primus inter pares, laughed not a little at 
the helpless and piteous glances that Hans Unwirrsch 
threw in all directions ; the happiness of the hour however 
had made his heart softer than usual, he offered to aid his 
friend, and between the two youths the jolly old boy Nik 'las 
Griinebaum raade for Kroppel Street, smiling and babbling, 
staggering and sobbing. 

What did it matter that as soon as he got into the low, 
dark room Uncle Griinebaum dropped onto the nearest 
chair, laid his arms on the table and his head on his arms ? 
What did Mother Christine and Auntie Schlotterbeck care 
about Uncle Griinebaum in this hour? They left him en- 
tirely to himself and to his seven glasses of bitters ! The 
two women were almost as bewildered and confused as the 
master ; they sobbed and smiled at the same time, as he had 
sobbed and smiled and Hans was not behind them in emo- 
tion and jubilance. 

The day was won by the two boys from Kroppel Street ; 
Moses Freudenstein of course had passed first among all 
the candidates ; but Hans Unwirrsch had achieved the sec- 
ond place. 

Everything in the room looked different from usual; a 
magic light had spread over everything. It was no wonder 
that the glass globe shone ; it was too intimate with the sun 
not to sparkle on such a day as if it were a little sun itself. 
Anyone who looked at it carefully saw that more was re- 
flected in it than he would have suspected: laughing and 
weeping faces, bits of the walls, a part of Kroppel Street 
with a piece of blue sky, the royal Westphalian body-serv- 
ant and the junk-dealer Samuel Freudenstein who pulled 
the said servant from his hook with strange haste and shut 
the shutters and door of his house. 



400 THE GEEMAN CLASSICS 

Auntie ScMotterbeck saw this occurrence, which was re- 
flected in the hanging globe, through the window and was 
just about to give vent to her wonder at it yrhen Uncle 
Grriinebaum raised his tired head from the table and began 
to survey his surroundings with more than astonished 
glances. He rubbed his eyes, ran his fingers through his 
hair and took his place once more in the family circle with 
the remark that any excess of joy and jubilance was very 
dangerous and might bring on attacks of something like 
apoplexy, as his "own bodily example" had just shown. 
With his senses he had regained in rich measure the gift 
of dulcet speech and as usual immediately made liberal use 
of it. 

"So this young man here, our nephew and descendant, 
has been an honor to his beloved relatives and now it's 
certain that cobbling isn't the thing for him. He has now 
successfully put his head through the hole according to his 
desire, and thus with time and experience will probably be 
able to squeeze body and legs through also, and we may 
certainly be of good hope that he will not forget us on this 
side of the wall when he has drawn his feet after his head. 
There are indeed instances of examples to show that a 
genius Iwill get his head wrenched in pushing himself 
through and that he consequentlyloses all memory of what 
is behind the wall and who is there and has helped to push 
with all his strength. But this Hans here present will 
remember his uncle, also his mother and, of course, don't 
let us forget, Auntie Schlotterbeck. He will ever recall 
what they have done for him and how he can never thank 
them enough for it. There he stands now, Christine Un- 
wirrsch, nee Griinebaum ; there he stands. Auntie Schlotter- 
beck, and his head is full of good things and the tears run 
over his cheeks, so that it is a joyful spectacle and a pain- 
ful pleasure. We will not deny that he has learnt more 
than what's right and reasonable, and if Auntie questions 
him in Greek he will answer in Hebrew. So let us be thank- 
ful for the good gift and not trouble ourselves about the 



THE HUNGER PASTOR 401 

devil's taking one and all, odd and even. Come here, my 
boy, and even if you did once infamously despise the most 
honorable trade, and are at present nearer to a pastor than 
to the pitch-cobbler Griinebaum, yet come here and em- 
brace me; from the bottom of his heart your uncle says 
'here's to you' on this your day of honor!" 

There was sense in the nonsense that Uncle Griinebaum 
delivered with such pathos ; but even if it had been nothing 
but drivel Hans would have thrown himself into the worthy 
man's wide open arms notwithstanding. After hugging 
and squeezing his uncle for some minutes he kissed his 
mother over again, then once more went through the same 
process with Auntie Schlotterbeck, striving all the time to 
express his overflowing feelings in words. 

' ' Oh, how shall I thank you all for what you have done 
for me!" he cried. "Oh Mother, if only my father were 
still alive!" 

At this exclamation of her son's his mother naturally 
broke into loud sobs; tut Auntie Schlotterbeck merely 
folded her hands in her lap, nodded her head and smiled 
without giving utterance to her thoughts. All at once how- 
ever she rose quickly from her chair, seized Mrs. Christine 
by the skirt and pointed mysteriously to the window. 

They all looked in the direction she indicated, but no one 
else saw anything. Kroppel Street lay bathed in the noon- 
day sunshine but none of its inhabitants was to be seen ; the 
junk-dealer's house looked as if its inmates had deserted 
it half a century ago; only a cat made use of the quiet 
moment to cross the street cautiously. 

"She is enough to give one the shivers in broad day- 
light," murmured Uncle Griinebaum with a timid sidelong 
glance at Auntie Schlotterbeck; the mother clasped her 
son's hand tighter and drew him nearer to her; whatever 
may have been Hans' opinion of Auntie Schlotterbeck 's 
mysterious gifts he was not able at that moment to defend 
himself against the feeling that her behavior aroused in 
him. 

Vol. XI— 2« 



402 THE GERMAN CLASSICS 

What a waking was that on the morning after this 
diflficult and happy day! A victor who has triumphantly 
pitched his tent on a conquered battlefield, a young girl 
who has become engaged the evening before at a ball, may 
perhaps wake with the same feelings as Hans Unwirrsch 
after his examination. The nerves have not yet grown 
calm but one is permeated by the blissful feeling that they 
have time to become calm. After-tremors of the great ex- 
citement still twitch through the soul but in spite of that, 
nay, just on that account, one has a sense of security ap- 
proaching ecstasy. What remains of human happiness if 
we subtract from it the hope that goes before the struggle, 
before the attainment of the desire and these first confused, 
indistinct moments that follow it? 

Summa cum laude! smiled the sun that played about the 
bed in which Hans Unwirrsch lay with half -closed eyelids. 
Summa cum laude! twittered the early sparrows and swal- 
lows in front of his window. Summ,a cum loMde! cried the 
bells that rang in Maundy Thursday. Svmima cum laude! 
said Hans Unwirrsch as he stood in the middle of his room 
and made a low bow — to himself. 

He had not quite finished dressing when his mother 
slipped into the room. She had left her shoes below, near 
the stairs, so as not to wake Auntie Schlotterbeck, whose 
bedroom was next that of Hans. She sat down on her son's 
bed and regarded him with simple pride and her glance 
did him good to the inmost recesses of his soul. 

Downstairs the holiday coffee was waiting and Auntie 
Schlotterbeck sat at the table. She had left her shoes up- 
stairs by her bedroom door so as not to wake the student 
and Mrs. Christine, and their consideration of one another 
gave rise to much laughter. There was a piece of jubilee 
cake too and although Maundy Thursday is only a half 
holiday, as every toiler knows, it was settled that it was to 
be kept as a whole one. 

First, of course, they went to church after Hans had 
knocked again vainly at the junk-dealer's door. Since old 



THE HUNGEE PASTOR 403 

Samuel had taken the body-servant of King Jerome from 
his hook and thus removed him forever from what to him 
in truth had been the swirl and swing of life, the door had 
not been opened again. What was going on behind it was 
a riddle to Kroppel Street, but a still greater riddle to 
Hans who had not seen his friend since they had walked 
home together after the examination and who had returned 
unsuccessful from every attempt to penetrate into the 
house opposite. Murx, the retired town constable, who 
still kept watch on Kroppel Street, from his armchair, 
in helpless fury and goutier than ever, had already drawn 
the attention of his successor in office to the ' ' confoundedly 
suspicious case;" indeed, the burgomaster had already 
shaken his head over it. The silent house began to disturb 
the peace of the town more thaii the most drunken brawler 
could have done. 

But the bells called people to church, and along came 
Uncle Griinebaum, in his blue coat, sea-green breeches and 
striped waistcoat, armed with the mightiest of all hymn- 
books as a shield against all bitter and sweet temptations, 
an ornament to every street through which he marched, 
an adornment to every gathering of Christians, politicians 
and civilized men that he honored with his presence. 

Hans and his mother walked hand in hand and at Auntie 
Schlotterbeck's side strode Uncle Griinebaum, who lost a 
little of his self-conscious respectability only when he 
turned the corner where the day before he had — ^where his 
feelings had overwhelmed him the day before. He drew 
out a very red handkerchief, blew his nose violently and 
thus passed successfully by the disastrous spot and landed 
his dignity without damage in the family pew. It is a pity 
that we cannot devote a chapter to his singing ; no cobbler 
ever caroled Avith greater reverence and power through 
his nose. 

Hans did not understand much of the sermon on that 
day and although it was rather long it seemed to him very 
short. Even the stone skeleton on the old monument be- 



404 THE GERMAN CLASSICS 

side the Unwirrsches ' place in church, that monster which 
Hans, long after he had ceased to be a child, could never 
dissociate from the idea of church, grinned "Summa cum 
laude!" "Summa cvm laudel" sang all the pipes of the 
organ and it was to this accompaniment that the family left 
the house of God. Above all there was "Summa cum 
laude!" in Professor Fackler's smile, who had also been 
at church with Cornelia and Eugenia, and who did not 
think it beneath his dignity to walk part of the way with 
his favorite's relatives, thus being enabled to offer Uncle 
Griinebaum the congratulations he had had ready the day 
before. 

"Swnma cum laude!" seemed to shine in the faces of 
everyone they met; it was really very curious. 

Professor Fackler had taken his leave with good wishes 
and hand-shakings and Eugenia and Cornelia had re- 
turned dainty little courtesies to the shy and blushing 
student's awkward bow; — there was Kroppel Street again 
and its inhabitants had already taken oif their Sunday 
raiment and put on their workday clothes. 

They were not working however ; there was great excite- 
ment in Kroppel Street; old and young ran hither and 
thither shouting and gesticulating. 

"Hullo, what's the matter now?" exclaimed Uncle 
Griinebaum. "What's happened? What's the matter. 
Master Schwenckkettel?" 

"He's got it! It's got him!" was the answer. 

"The devil! Who's got it? What's got him?" 

"The Jew! Freudenstein ! He's lying on his back and 
gasping " 

The women clasped their hands. Hans Unwirrsch stood 
rigid, and turned pale, but Uncle Griinebaum said, phleg- 
matically : 

' ' The devil takes one and all, odd and even ! Don 't hurry, 
Hans, — well, I declare, he's off already!" 

Hans ran at fuir speed toward the junk-dealer's shop 
which, with its door wide open, was besieged by a dense 



THE HUNGER PASTOR 405 

throng of people. They looked over one another's 
shoulders and although no one saw anything extraor- 
dinary in the dark space yet no one would have moved 
from the spot where he stood ; Kroppel Street was too fond 
of excitements like this that cost nothing. 

It was only with difi&culty that Hans, in his bewilder- 
ment, was able to make a path for himself. At last he 
stood in the dusk of the shop, feeling as if he were shut 
out forever from the fresh, open air of spring. The faces 
of the people on the steps of the entrance stared down at 
him as through a mist; just as he was about to lay his 
trembling hand on the handle of the door that led to the 
back room it was opened. 

The doctor came out and straightened his spectacles. 

"Ah, it's you, Unwirrsch," he said. "He's in a bad way 
in there. Apoplexia spasmodica. Gastric, convulsive 
apoplexy. Everything possible has been done for the 
moment. I'll look in again in an hour. A pleasant day to 
you, sir!" 

Hans Unwirrsch did not return the doctor's last greet- 
ing, which seemed a little out of keeping with the present 
circumstances. He simimoned all his energy and stepped 
into the back room which was now transformed into a 
death chamber. A penetrating odor of spirits of ammonia 
met him, the sick man on his bed in the corner already had 
the rattle in his throat; the Rabbi had come, sat at the 
head of the bed and murmured Hebrew prayers in which, 
from time to time, the voice of old Esther on the other 
side of the bed, joined. 

At the foot stood Moses, motionless. He was leaning 
on the bed-posts, looking at the patient Not a muscle of 
his face twitched, his eyes showed no sign of tears, his lips 
were firmly closed. 

He turned as Hans stepped up to him and laid his cold 
right hand in that of his friend; then he turned his face 
away again at once and gazed once more at his sick father. 
He seemed to have grown a head taller since his examina- 



406 THE GERMAN CLASSICS 

tion, the expression in his eyes was indescribable, — to use 
a dreadful simile, it was as if the angel of death were wait- 
ing for the last grain of sand to fall ; — Moses Freudenstein 
had gradually grown to be a handsome youth. 

"Oh, God, Moses, speak! How did it happen? How did 
it happen so all of a sudden?" whispered Hans. 

' ' Who can tell ! ' ' said Moses, just as softly. ' ' Two hours 
ago we were sitting here quietly together and — and — he 
showed me all sorts of papers that we were putting in 
order, — ^we have had various things to put in order since 
yesterday — suddenly be groaned and fell off his chair and 
now — there he lies. The doctor says he will never get up 
again." 

' ' Oh, how dreadful ! I knocked at your door so often yes- 
terday ; why didn't you want to let anyone in?" 

"He didn't want to; he always was peculiar. He had 
made up his mind that on the day when I should have 
passed my examination successfully he would close his 
shop for ever. He did not want to have any witness, 
anyone to disturb us when he showed me his secret chests 
and drawers. He was a peculiar man and now his life will 
close with the shop, — ^who would have thought it, who, in- 
deed?" 

The voice in which these words were spoken was dull 
and mournful; but iti Moses' eyes glittered something quite 
different from sorrow or mourning. A secret gratification 
lay in them, a concealed triumph, the certainty of a happi- 
ness which had suddenly revealed itself, which in such 
plenitude he had not even dared to hope for and which for 
the moment had still to be hidden under the dark cloak 
of decorous grief. 

Let us see how the father and son had spent the time 
since the day before and we shall be able to explain this 
glance which Moses Freudenstein cast on his dying fa,ther. 

In as great a state of excitement as the relatives of Hans 
TJnwirrsch, Master Samuel had awaited his son's return. 
He wandered restlessly about the house and began to bur- 



THE HUNGER PASTOR 407 

row among his effects, to open and shut chests, to rummage 
through the most forgotten corners, as if he wanted to hold 
a final review of his possessions and his thousand different 
articles of trade. At the same time he talked to himself 
unceasingly and although not a drop of spirituous liquor 
ever crossed his lips, yet at the time when Uncle Griine- 
baum was leaning firmly against the wall opposite the 
school-house, Samuel Freudenstein seemed to be more in- 
toxicated than he. The great resolve which he had carried 
in his heart for so long and which was now about to be put 
into execution affected him like strong drink. Toward 
eleven o'clock he drove the housekeeper Esther out of the 
back room and bolted even that door. He now brought to 
light mysterious keys, opened mysterious drawers in his 
writing-table, creakingly unlocked a mysterious door in 
a mysterious closet. There was a jingling as of gold and 
silver, a rustling as of government bonds and other- negoti- 
able paper, and among the jingling and the rustling Father 
Samuel's voice murmured: 

"He was born in a dark corner, he will long for the light; 
he has sat in a gloomy house, he will dwell in a palace. 
They have mocked him and beaten him, he will repay them 
according to the law; an eye for an eye and a tooth for a 
tooth! He is a good son and he has learnt what a man 
needs in order to rise. He has not been impatient, he has 
sat quietly over his books here at this table. He has done 
his work and I have done mine. He shall find me here at 
this table where he has sat quietly throughout his young 
life. Now he will go out into life, and I will stay here ; but 
my eyes will follow him on his way and he will give me 
great joy. I have always followed him with my eyes, he 
is a good son. Now he has grown to be a man and his 
father will have nothing more in secret from him. Six 
hundred — seven hundred — two thoi»sand — a good son — 
may the God of our fathers bless him and his children and 
his children's children." 

The screaming, blessings and beseechings of Esther 



408 THE aERMAN CLASSICS 

outside and a knocking at the door drove the old man from 
his calculations and thoughts onto his feet. 

"God of Abraham, he is here!" 

With a trembling hand he pushed back the bolt and 
clasped his son, who was jtist entering, in his arms. 

"Here he is ! Here he is ! My son, the son of my wife ! 
Well, Moses, speak, how did it go?" 

Moses' face showed not a sign of change, he appeared 
cold, as always, and calmly he held out his certificate to his 
father. 

"I knew that they would have to write what they have 
written. They probably made faces over it but they had to 
give me the first place. Come now! Don't be ridiculous, 
Father; don't go mad, Esther. Oh say, how they would 
like to have put that sentimental Hans over there ahead of 
me, but they couldn't manage it; I knew it. By all the 
silly gods. Father, what have you been doing this morning? 
Gold? Gold and no end of it? What's that? What does 
that mean? Great God, where " 

He broke off and bent over the table. That was a sight 
that entirely destroyed his accustomed self-control, at least 
for a time. 

"Yours! Yours! It is all yours!" cried his father. "I 
told you that I would do my part if you did yours at the 
table there. That is not all ! Here ! Here ! ' ' 

The old man had rushed to the closet again and threw a 
few more jingling bags on the black floor and a few more 
bundles of securities on the table. His eyes glowed as with 
fever. 

"You are equipped and armed, now raise your head. 
Eat when you are hungry and reach out for everything 
that you desire. They will bring it to you if you are 
wise ; you will become a great man among the strangers ! 
Be wise on your way! Don't stand still, don't stand still, 
don't stand still!" 

The hanging globe in the house opposite reflected Samuel 
Freudenstein as he hurried out, tore the Westphalian body- 



THE HUNGEE PASTOR 409 

servant from his hook and buried him in the depths of the 
shop ; thus he dosed his business for ever, — the lackey had 
served as a sign for many things which had really nothing 
to do with junk-dealing; it was not to be regretted that 
he disappeared from Kroppel Street. 

If only the glass globe of Master Anton TJnwirrsch could 
have reflected the figure of Moses Freudenstein as, during 
his father's short absence he stood with folded arms in 
front of the riohjy burdened table ! He was pale and his 
lips twitched, he passed his finger tips over several of the 
rows of gold-pieces and at their touch a slight tremor ran 
through his body. A thousand thoughts chased one an- 
other through his brain with the rapidity of lightning, but 
not one of them rose from his heart; he did not think of 
the toil, the care, the — love that clung to this piled-up 
wealth. He thought only of what his own attitude must be 
to these riches which were suddenly thrust before him, of 
the changed existence that would begin from this moment — 
for him. His cold heart beat so violently that it almost 
caused him physical pain. It was an evil moment in which 
Samuel Freudenstein announced to his son that he was 
rich and that the latter would one day be so. From that 
moment a thousand dark threads stretched out into the 
future; whatever was dark in Moses' soul became still 
darker from this moment; nothing became lighter; egoism 
raised its head menacingly and stretched out hungry arms, 
like those of an octopus, to grasp the world. 

In this headlong, wildly increasing tumult of thoughts his 
father's existence no longer counted for anything, it was 
rubbed out as if it had never been. Moses Freudenstein 
thought only of himself and when his father's step 
sounded again behind him he started and clenched his 
teeth. 

Samuel Freudenstein had bolted the door ; he had closed 
the shop and thus also locked out the wide, lovely spring 
world, the blue sky, the beautiful sun — woe to him ! 

He had nothing to do with the joyful sounds, the shining 



410 THE GERMAN CLASSICS 

colors of life, they would only have been in his way; he 
wanted to celebrate a triumph in which he did not need 
them — woe to him! The gray dusk which fell through the 
dirty panes of the back room sufficed perfectly for him to 
lay his secret account book before his son and show him in 
what way the wealth that he had spread out before him 
had been acquired. 

The sun went down, but before taking his farewell, he 
flooded the world with unequaled beauty ; he smiled a part- 
ing greeting through every window that he could reach ; but 
he could not say farewell to poor Samuel Freudenstein — 
woe to him ! 

Night came on and Esther carried the lighted lamp into 
the little back room. The children were put to bed, the 
night watchman came; the older people too disappeared 
from the benches before their front doors. Everyone car- 
ried his cares to bed ; but Samuel and Moses Freudenstein 
counted and figured on, and it was not until the gray dawn 
that the latter sank into a restless, feverish slumber only 
to start up again almost as soon as he had closed his eyes. 
He did not wake like Hans Unwirrsch ; he woke with a cry 
of fear, stretched his hands out and crooked his fingers as 
if something infinitely precious were being torn from him, 
as if he were striving in deadly fear to hold it tight. He 
sat upright in bed and stared about him, pressed his hands 
to his forehead and then jumped up. Hastily he drew on 
his clothes and went down into the back room where his 
father still lay asleep restlessly murmuring disconnected 
sentences. The son stood before his father's bed and his 
gaze wandered from his father's face to the empty table 
which had lately been so richly burdened. 

Oh, the hunger, the terrible hunger, by which Moses 
Freudenstein was tormented, was consumed ! Between the 
feast and the sufferer there stood a superfluous something, 
the life of an old man. The son of this old man gnashed 
his teeth — ^woe to you too, Moses Freudenstein ! 

How did the hour-glass from the pulpit of the Christian 



THE HUNGER PASTOR 411 

church come to be in the shop? It was there and it stood 
beside the bed of the old man on a shelf against the wall. 
In former years it had often served Moses and Hans as a 
plaything and they had watched the sand run through with 
delight; it was long now since any hand had touched it, 
the spiders had spun their webs about it ; it was a useless 
thing. What notion could suddenly have shot into the mind 
of the junk-dealer's son to make him turn the hour-glass 
over now? A frightened spider scuttled up the wall; the 
sand began to trickle down again and Samuel Freudenstein 
woke with a start. He drew the bed-clothes close about him 
and felt under his pUlow for his bunch of keys; then he 
asked almost in a screech : 

"What do you want, Moses? Is it you? What do you 
want? It's still night!" 

"It's bright daylight. Have you forgotten, Father, that 
we did not finish yesterday? It is bright daylight; and you 
still have so much to say to me." 

The father glanced at the son, and then looked at him 
again. Then his eye fell on the hour-glass. 

"Why did you turn the glass over? Why do you wake 
me before it is day?" 

"Oh come! You know, Father, that time is precious 
and runs away like sand. Will you get up?" 

The old man turned uneasily in his bed several times, and 
glanced ever anew at his son, now searchingly, now fear- 
fully, now angrily. 

Moses had turned away and went to the writing table 
near the window ; the old man sat upright and drew up his 
knees. The sand in the glass trickled down — down, and 
the old man's eyes became more and more fixed. Had he 
had a dream during his short sleep and was now consider- 
ing whether this dream might not be truth; who could 
say? Had it become clear to him all of a sudden that in 
giving his child the treasure that he had concealed so long 
and so well he was giving him only darkness and ruin? 



412 THE GERMAN CLASSICS 

What a life he had led in order to be able to celebrate that 
hour of triumph yesterday ! Woe to him ! 

The son threw shifty glances over his shoulder at his 
father. 

' ' What is the matter, Father ? Are you not well ? ' ' 

"Quite well, Moses, quite well. Be quiet, I will get up. 
Do not be angry. Be quiet — that your days may be long 
upon earth." 

He rose and dressed. Esther came with breakfast but 
she almost let the tray fall when she looked into her old 
master's face. 

"God of Israel! What is the matter, Freudenstein?" 

' ' Nothing, nothing ! Be quiet, Esther ; it will pass. ' ' 

He sat in his chair all morning without moving. His 
mouth alone moved, but only once did an audible word 
cross his lips; he wanted them to open the door and the 
shutters again. 

"Why should Esther unlock the house?" asked Moses. 
"We want to finish our business of yesterday first, and 
don't need people gaping and listening." 

"Be quiet, you are right, my son. It is well, Esther. 
Take the keys from under my pillow, Moses. ' ' 

The sand in the hour-glass had run through again ; Moses 
Freudenstein himself had unlocked the closet once more 
and was looking through the papers. The old man did not 
move, but he followed his son's every movement with his 
eyes and now and then started and shivered. Esther had 
put an old cover about his shoulders ; he was like a child 
that must let everything be done for it. 

Moses took out another bag of money; it slipped from 
his hands and fell ringing on the floor, scattering part of its 
contents over the room. With the ringing and jingling of 
the money a scream mingled that froze one's blood. 

"Apopleocia spasmodical" said the doctor fifteen min- 
utes later. "Hm, hm — an unusual case in a man of his 
constitution!" 




Permission Franz Hanfstaengl 

THE LETTER CARRIER 



Carl Spitzweg 



THE HUNGER PASTOE 413 

SUMMABY OF ChAPTEES IX AND X 

[Theeb days after the first shock a second apoplectic at- 
tack occurred and Samuel Freudenstein died. On the way- 
home from the cemetery Hans sought to comfort his friend 
— quite unnecessarily, as all that occupied the latter 's 
mind was what his father had left. With the help of two 
guardians he was able, within a few days to find out ex- 
actly what this amounted to, and finally, after thoroughly 
rummaging through the shop, he sold it again to another 
Semite. He sought to banish all remembrance of his 
father; the hour-glass slipped from his hand and a kick 
sent the fragments into a corner. 

In the meantime his mother, "Auntie," and Uncle 
Griinebaum had done their best to prepare Hans for his 
journey to the university. Hans bade farewell to every- 
body and everything in Neustadt that he loved and then, 
on a beautiful spring morning, started on his pilgrimage 
with Moses. As they passed the door of the second-hand 
shop, they found three old Jewish women there to whom 
Samuel had been charitable now and then, and the house- 
keeper, Esther. They were waiting to give Moses their 
blessings and good wishes, but he scorned them. They left 
the thaler that he threw to them lying on the ground and 
half the prayer that they sent after him was changed into 
a curse. Uncle Griinebaum, with his dignified person and 
his beautiful speeches, accompanied the two young people 
as far as the town gates. 

On a height that afforded a last view of Neustadt the 
two wanderers paused for a short time. Hans thought 06 
all that he had experienced up till then and of all the people 
that he had known, not excepting the dead, such as his 
master, Silberloffel, and little Sophie. Moses, on the other 
hand, refused to think of those who had died and thought 
of the living only with his superior, cynical smile. He 
hated the town of Neustadt and finally roused Hans from 
his dreams by a mocking remark. Similar scenes often 



414 THE GERMAN CLASSICS 

recurred on their way, the last one when, on the morning 
of the third day, they came in sight of the university town 
lying at their feet. Hans would like to have taken off his 
shoes on the holy ground while Moses gave characteristic 
expression to his opinion by remarking that there must 
be many a bad egg or a blown one down there in the little 
town. 

Hans rented a little room from a shoemaker in the most 
remote and cheapest corner of the town of the muses, while 
Moses established himself in a house that looked on a 
beautiful public square opposite the Gothic cathedral. His 
rooms were elegantly furnished and he showed no disin- 
clination for any of the exquisite enjoyments of life; the 
humble cocoon from Neustadt brought forth a gay-colored, 
bright. Epicurean butterfly that spread its wings with as- 
surance and skill. 

Hans entered himself as a student of theology while 
Moses joined the philosophers. Hans entertained a humble 
veneration for the apostles of wisdom and on every occa- 
sion Moses diabolically sought to trip up this touching 
belief in authority. He acknowledged one professor's good 
points only so as to be able to throw a stronger light on his 
weaknesses ; in the case of another he was pleased to find 
that at least his moral reputation was not above reproach. 
But although Moses was able to destroy much he was also 
able to give as much else. He got himself books on all 
branches of learning and constructed for himself a rather 
original system of objective logic; he diligently attended 
Jectures on law and for recreation he gave Hans instruc- 
tion in Hebrew. With subtle arguments he discussed with 
him God and the world, physics and metaphysics, and 
proved to him that the Jews were still the chosen people, 
for the successes that the other nations won they won for 
the Jews too, whereas the latter were not concerned in 
other people's defeats. Whenever the Jews did enter the 
struggle they did so of their own free will, with no anxiety 



THE HUNGER PASTOE 415 

for the weal or woe of a nation, but only to fight for spir- 
itual values, for ideas. 

Hans could meet such sophistry only with the greatest 
difiSculty; his talent did not lie in that direction. Even 
his first semester showed him that he was better fitted for 
practical than theoretical theology; in fact, the professor 
of homiletics was not satisfied with his achievements even 
in that subject. His pupil's oratory contained too much 
"poesie," too much enthusiasm for nature, even an odor 
of pantheism. Hence Hans liked best to preach his ser- 
mons in the open air, under a tall oak, on a narrow meadow 
in the woods where the birds listened to him with more tol- 
erance than did his professor. 

Hans always went home in the holidays and each time he 
entered with a clearer head and a larger heart into the 
small circle of his dear ones. Moses, however, remained 
in the university town and each time, when lectures began 
again, he came out of his rooms more sarcastic and scepti- 
cal than before. FinalFy the last semester drew near. Hans 
was to take his examination at home as a candidate in the- 
ological science. Moses wrote a capital doctor's disserta- 
tion on "Matter as an Element of the Divine," and de- 
fended his views by gradually turning the thesis round 
and making of the Divine an element of matter. Quite 
carelessly one evening after he had taken his degree Moses 
told Hans that he was going to Paris the day after to- 
morrow, as he wanted to learn to swim there. He went on 
to say that Germany was nothing but a beach from which 
the tide had receded but he had not yet lost his feeling 
for the open sea and wanted to find more extensive waters 
in which to try his fins. To Hans' great astonishment 
and regret Moses really did go to Paris and left the friend 
of his youth alone behind him. A great void was made 
in Hans' life, but before the end of the semester he re- 
ceived a letter which showed him that even greater voids 
might appear in his life. This letter came from Uncle 
Griinebaum and announced that his mother was very ill. 



416 THE GERMAN CLASSICS 

As soon as he had recovered from his first stupefaction 
Hans packed his certificates and few belongings and left 
the university to go to Neustadt, to the deathbed of his 
mother.] 

Chaptbb XI 

It was a melancholy way through the autumn weather. 
Throughout the journey the wind was the poor wanderer's 
companion, the cold, dreary, whining, groaning October 
wind. Mockingly it tore from the woods a good part of 
the adornment with which it had often dallied so winningly 
in spring and summer. It whipped up dense clouds of dust 
on the road and rushed across the stubble fields with a 
shrieking hiss which could not have been pleasant to any 
living creature except the crows. Only the thrashing of 
the flails in the neighboring and distant villages could be 
taken as a comforting sign that everything was not yet lost 
to the earth and that the triumph that the wind was cele- 
brating on the empty fields was only a deceptive one. 

But this comfort was lost on the lonely wanderer in the 
clouds of dust on the country road; he could pay little at- 
tention to it and, deeply depressed and forlorn, he dragged 
one foot after the other. He had traveled this way so often 
already that no object that sprang into view on either side 
of the road was unfamiliar to him. Trees and boulders, 
houses and huts, sign-posts, church steeples, old boundary 
stones which no longer marked anything but the trausi- 
toriness of even the widest possessions — all had already 
made various impressions on him in his various moods. 
He remembered how he had sat thinking on this spot, had 
slept through an afternoon under the bushes on that one. 
He thought most of those days when he had passed this 
way for the first time with his great hunger for knowledge, 
in the companionship of that comrade of his youth who was 
now gone. Now he was going back along this way for the 
last time ; — he had learnt much, endured many things and 



THE HUNGEE PASTOR 417 

enjoyed many pleasures ! What was now the state of his 
soul? 

He was depressed, he was sad and would have been so 
even without Uncle Griinebaum's letter of ill tidings. With 
all his strength he had striven to learn all that could be 
learnt of the high branch of knowledge to which he had 
devoted himself, and he was obliged to confess that this 
was little enough. He felt deeply the inadequacy of what 
the men on the lecture platform had taught him, but he felt 
something else besides and that was what Professor Vogel- 
sang and most of the other members of the highly laud- 
able, honorable faculty did not want to recognize because 
they could not teach it. 

He was on his way to see one die whom he loved more 
than any other human being ; he stepped out toward dark- 
ness and it was darkness that he left behind him. At one 
time he had preached to the trees and the birds because the 
world would hear nothing of his feelings, and he had never 
complained of that. Now, his hunger for knowledge seemed 
to be dead, but his feelings were still alive, rose insistently 
and crowded about his heart; they grew to be the bitterest 
pain that a man can endure. At that moment nothing was 
distinct in the surging tumult; sorrow about his mother, 
disappointment, worry and fear were mingled; and, curi- 
ously enough, mixed with all these there sounded sharply 
and cuttingly long forgotten words which Moses Freuden- 
steiQ had once uttered. During this journey Hans Jakob 
Unwirrsch was in a simUar mood to that of another John 
James who, long years before, had gone from Annecy to 
Vevay and had written of that road : 

"Combien de fois, m'arretcmt pour pleurer a mon aise, 
assis sur une grosse pierre, je me suis amuse a voir tomher 
mes larmes dans Veaul" 

It blew incessantly! All day long the wind drove dark 
clouds across the gray sky, yet not a drop of rain fell. It 
burrow^ed into the hedges about the neglected, untidy gar- 
dens where the withered sunflowers and hollyhocks hung 

Vou XI— 27 



418 THE GEEMAN CLASSICS 

their heads plaintively. It rattled the windows of the 
village inn where Hans ate his dinner, blustered about the 
house and waited grimly for the wanderer who had escaped 
it for a short moment. It played its game about the coach 
that stopped at the toll-gate and flapped the cape of the 
driver's coat so violently round his ears that he could 
scarcely get out the toll. Hans threw an indifferent glance 
at this carriage through the window ; but the next moment 
he regarded it more keenly. The leather flap at the side of 
the carriage had been drawn back, a young girl looked out 
and peered down the dreary country road. The wind 
raised the black veil on her black mourning hat and had 
no more pity on the pale, sad, girlish face beneath it than 
on anything else that came in its way. But for that reason 
the little face only made the greater impression on Hans. 
Trouble greeted trouble, and the sorrow that went on foot 
along the country road bowed to the sorrow in the carriage 
that rolled through the clouds of dust. That childish, care- 
worn face just fitted into the mood that possessed Hans ; he 
would have liked to know more of its owner's life and fate. 

But the girl's head drew back and in its place there ap- 
peared a gray moustache and an old military cap. A glass 
of brandy was handed into the carriage, full, and very 
quickly appeared again, empty; the driver too had found it 
possible, in spite of his violent struggle with his cape, to re- 
fresh himself with a drink that did not come directly from 
the spring. Get up! Forward! The horses started and, 
with a cloud of dust the old vehicle rattled off, the wind 
rushing after it like a bloodhound on the trail and it was 
more than remarkable that when Hans came out of the 
Golden Stag Inn it received him too with triumphant ani- 
mosity and blew him after the carriage. 

The people in the Golden Stag had not been able to say 
who the military old gentleman and the young lady in 
mourning were; they only knew the driver, the two lean 
nags and the tumble-down old vehicle, and said that this 



THE HUNGER PASTOfi 419 

quartet was often hired by travelers as it was frequently 
the only means of transport in the neighborhood. 

In addition to all his other thoughts Hans now carried 
with him on his way through the dark afternoon the image 
of the lovely little face he had seen. Ever anew it presented 
itself to his mental vision ; he could not help it. Thus he 
went on and did not stop till the dusk had grown denser 
and he had reached the little town in which he was to spend 
the night. 

To be sure, it had been dusk all day and the evening could 
make little change in the illumination of the world. But 
now night fell and made common cause with the wind and 
if the devil had joined the alliance he could not have made 
matters much worse. 

It was not the wind's fault that the crooked old houses 
of the little country town which Hans now entered were 
still standing the next morning. The lights in the rooms, 
behind the windows, seemed to flicker and the few people 
who were still in the streets fought their way laboriously 
against the storm, bending forward or leaning back. Front 
doors slammed with thundering crashes, window shutters 
flew open with a rattle and the only glazier in the place 
listened with singular joy to every shrill clinking and clat- 
ter in the distance. 

If, however, the wind was obliged to leave the little town 
as a whole still standing it could do even less to the keeper 
of the Posl^horn Inn. To have blown him from his feet 
and thrown him to the earth would indeed have been a feat 
which Aeolus might well have set his subjects and re- 
warded with a prize. On his short, well-rounded legs the 
innkeeper stood firm and unmoved in front of his doorway 
under his creaking sign and gave orders regarding a car- 
riage which was just being drawn under shelter by two 
servants. The lean theologian, Hans Unwirrsch, landed, 
in the most literal sense of the word, on the colossal moun- 
tain of flesh, the keeper of the Post-horn Inn ; half smoth- 
ered and half blinded Hans was blown into the doorway 



420 THE GERMAN CLASSICS 

and hurled violently against the inkeeper's stomach, but 
even this collision did not disturb the balance of his huge 
bulk. 

The keeper of the Post-horn Inn was fortunately a man 
who knew how to appreciate the compelling power of cir- 
cumstances ; the attack did not make him as rude as might 
have been expected. He did not invite the guest thus hurled 
against him to go to the devil, he even wheeled halfway 
round to afford him an entrance into his house and fol- 
lowed him merely snorting a few mild remarks. 

"A confounded way to steer! Always go slow over the 
bridge! Don't turn too sharp a corner! Thunder, right 
on my full stomach ! " 

But when, in the dimly lit room, he recognized the 
stranger that the ill wind had blown into his house, the last 
shade of bad humor disappeared from his round face and 
with perfect cheerfulness he held out his broad paw to 
shake hands. 

"Ah, it's you, my young student friend! Back once more 
in the holidays? I'm glad of that! As they say, it's an ill 
wind that blows nobody good. ' ' 

Hans apologized as well as he could for his tumultuous 
greeting at the door; but now the innkeeper only looked 
at him smilingly and pityingly and blew across his hand 
as if he would say : "A feather ! A feather ! Nothing but 
a feather!" — But what he did say was: "That's all right, 
Mr. Unwirrsch, I'm well able to stand my ground. Take 
off your knapsack; — I suppose you've carried it on your 
back all day long as usual? It's a shame !" 

There was the landlady, just as corpulent as the master 
of the house! There was "my hostess' daughter fair" 
but not "iu a coflSn black and bare" this time, thank God! 
nay, very much alive and also of pleasant amplitude. And 
they greeted poor, sad Hans whose good heart and tiny 
purse" they had learnt to know in former vacations and 
treated with the respect due them. They questioned him 
about everything before he could get his breath and knew 



THE HUNGER PASTOR 421 

the sorrowful circumstance that now called him home be- 
fore he had laid down his knapsack and heavy stick. And 
as they considered a good meal and a good draught the best 
panacea for all ills he, the landlord, went down into the 
cellar and the landlady with her daughter went into the 
kitchen and Hans was now able to take a first glance at 
the other guests. 

There were only two there. There was a table laid for 
supper in the corner by the gtove and they were sitting at 
it; an old gentleman with a moustache, in a long military 
coat buttoned up under his chin, and a pale, delicate look- 
ing young girl in mourning. The girl was looking down 
and continued to do so but the old gentleman stared at the 
theologian so steadily and openly that the latter felt quite 
uncomfortable and was very glad when the fat landlord 
reappeared in the room and interposed his solid form be- 
tween the keen-eyed, moustached countenance and the table 
at which Hans had seated himself. 

The landlord had a robust voice and did not put his 
questions as softly as Hans would have wished; the land- 
lord was somewhat deaf and required Hans to answer as 
loudly as possible. And when "my hostess" came with 
dishes and plates and "my hostess's daughter fair" with 
knives and forks, they too had questions to ask. The old 
soldier did not need to play eavesdropper to hear every- 
thing worth knowing about the black-coat. 

If a man who has had much trouble to bear has not heard 
any friendly, sympathetic voices about him for a long time, 
he becomes communicative when finally such voices do 
reach his ears and his heart with questions and expressions 
of pity, however reticent he may be as a rule. And, as we 
know, Hans Unwirrsch was not reticent ; he did not keep 
his joys and sorrows out of sight and, as he had nothing to 
conceal, he unreservedly gave the good-natured family a 
full account of how he and the world had got along with 
one another. 

The military looking old gentleman soon knew every- 



422 THE GERMAN CLASSICS 

tMng that might he of interest in such a hungry-looking, 
hlack-gowned, young theological student. He knew his 
name, he knew that he came from the famous town of 
Neustadt, he had heard that a certain Uncle Griinebaum 
was still in good health and that a no less certain Auntie 
Schlotterbeck still saw the dead wandering about in the 
streets. That the theologian had an old mother in Neu- 
stadt and that this mother was ill with a serious, painful 
disease and would perhaps Ijave to die — all this the old 
gentleman with the gray moustache heard, and the young 
girl heard it too, moreover with sympathy, as it seemed, 
for she had raised her head and turned it towards where 
the young man was sitting. Her face was kind, but not 
beautiful ; it was her eyes that were beautiful, with which, 
however, she could not see the theologian but only the 
broad back of the landlord of the Post-horn Inn. The land- 
lord blocked her view as well as that of the young man 
whom he was questioning so eagerly. 

How angry the wind was outside, and how unmistak- 
ably it showed its fury ! It blustered round the house as if 
mad and shook every window at which its ally, the night, 
the dreary autumn night, the enemy of man, the enemy of 
light, looked in. Oh, how angry the wind and the night 
were with the travelers who were now so safe from them; 
how angry with the fat landlord of the Post-horn Inn and 
with the landlady and the landlady's rosy daughter! No 
pursuer whose victims had escaped into some inviolable 
sanctuary could be more angry. 

But who was it who at this moment emphatically snapped 
out the words: " That impudent Jew ! " . . . 

Was it the wind or was it the night? 

No, it was the elderly military gentleman with the mous- 
tache and if there had been any doubt that by this kindly 
designation he meant our friend Moses Freudenstein, 
whose name Hans Unwirrsch had just mentioned, he dis- 
sipated such doubt immediately by adding : 

"A conceited, impudent Jewish brat, if it's the rogue to 



THE HUNGER PASTOR 423 

whom, lately, in Paris, I had to give a piece of my mind ! 
Wasn't it so, Franzchen? Moses Freudenstein, yes, that 
was the name. Won't you move nearer, sir; come over 
here to this table; it's an evening for people to gather 
close together and I shall be glad to make your nearer ac- 
quaintance and to hear something further about this 
Moses." 

The landlord and his family, wondering much at this sud- 
den interruption, had turned to the speaker, and Hans, 
much excited by this unsuspected attack on his friend, had 
risen. 

With no trace of timidity he began Moses Freudenstein 's 
defense from where he sat; but the old gentleman waved 
his hand soothingly. 

"Come, come; always keep step! Right, left! Right — 
now the wind has the floor again. Just listen to its bluster- 
ing outside ! This is the sort of weather that takes away 
even a pastor's appetite for a dispute. Come over here, 
candidate, and have a glass of punch; and don't take it 
amiss if I've done it again and said something unsuitable; 
— I suppose I have, for here's my niece pulling my coat- 
tail." 

Perhaps at that moment it would have been quite agree- 
able to the young lady if the landlord had still stood be- 
tween her and the theological student; but the view was 
now perfectly open and nothing prevented our Hans from 
thanking with a glance the blushing child who had pulled 
the coat of the owner of the gray military moustache. 

"Forward, candidate, forward! Carry arms, — ^march — 
halt! Move up, Franziska; — ^you're surely not afraid of a 
young black-coat. Landlord, what would you think of 
calling out a second levy of this pleasant and wholesome 
beverage?" 

The landlord thought that the beverage was just suited 
to the weather and the hour and lost no time in filling the 
order. Before Hans Unwirrsch really knew how it had 



424 THE GEEMAN CLASSICS 

happened he was sitting beside the old soldier, opposite 
the pale young lady and in front of a steaming glass. 

"That's right, young man," said the owner of the mous- 
tache. ' ' I knew that you wouldn 't fall out with a pensioned 
old soldier on account of just a word or two. Your health, 
sir ; and now as I have by this time learnt your name, cir- 
cumstances and so on, you shall not feel your way in the 
dark as regards us, either. I am a retired lieutenant, 
Eudolf Gotz, and this child is my niece, Franziska Gotz, 
whose father has lately died in Paris and whom I have 
fetched from there, to turn her over to my third brother 
who is a juristic big- wig — poor little thing!" 

The lieutenant growled the last words very softly and im- 
mediately added, very loudly. 

"And now then, as we each know who the other is, I hope 
that the evening will pass without any row in the quarters. 
Here's to you, sir, you've made a good march today, and a 
good drink ought to follow it." 

Hans drank to the lieutenant in return and soon found 
that the voice and the moustache bore no relation to the 
eyes, the good-natured nose and the joyous mouth. He 
found that there was no reason to fear that theology had 
here fallen into the power and under the tyranny of a 
bragging swashbuckler. And, indeed, he thought, that it 
would require great inward perversity to be outwardly 
rough in the presence of the girl Franziska. 

It was a pleasant picture to see the old soldier sitting be- 
tween the two sorrowful young people. He was certainly 
very much inclined to be quite jolly; but as that was hardly 
the thing he did his best to play the part of the comforter. 

"So it goes in the world," he said over the edge of his 
glass, "people drive or trot past each other on the road 
and never think of each other and then, a few hours later, 
all at once they are sitting comfortably together and 
stretching out their legs under the same table. And so it 
goes with us too; you're just standing in a solid square 
a,nd have your men on either side, your best friends and 



THE HUNGEE PASTOE 425 

can depend on them. You watch calmly how the two twelve- 
pounders over there are planted and the game begins. 
Phwt, phwt — the balls make bad paths through the battal- 
ion; but they don't touch you, nor the men beside you 
either. Over there, they're thinking, now their time has 
come — there is the cavalry — trot — gallop — ^you see them 
coming on with a stamping and roaring, like a thunder 
storm, — Fire! There is a cracking about your ears and 
your mind is so confused that you couldn't even say "Bless 
you" if the devil should sneeze. But you stand fast, how- 
ever black it may grow before your eyes — now the real 
jamming sets in, and you stumble over all sorts of things 
that squirm or lie still. There's squealing and howling and 
groaning between your feet; but it's all one, you stand as 
fast as possible, even if you can't help it. The dogs must 
be driven back, and they are. Through the smoke you see 
nothing but the tails of the horses and everyone trying to 
get back where he came from and the wind blows the 
smoke after them — ^but, the devil, where are the men be- 
side you? There are strange faces all round and it's a 
strange hand that holds out the bottle to you ; there, com- 
rade, drink after that piece of work! The battalion goes 
forward three paces to get the dead and wounded out of 
the ranks. All around the fellows are steaming with sweat 
and here and there one of them has blood trickling out of 
his nose or somewhere. The ground is slippery and 
ploughed-up enough and there's a most infernal smell in 
the air; but your good friends are gone and you mustn't 
even turn round to look after them for the scoundrels over 
there at the edge of the woods aren't done yet by a long 
shot; they'll come again often enough before the, sun sets 
so as to earn their suj)per and stamp the name of Waterloo 
on the history of the world. And now here is my niece 
Franziska; she too has lost the man next her from her 
sight, and here is the pastor with a face like the black tom- 
cat that fell into the pot of vinegar, and here am I — also a 
poor orphan. I can tell you, young people, when a man 



426 THE GBEMAN CLASSICS 

has had it rain a few times into his camp kettle, he learns 
to put on the lid and when a man has lost more than one 
good comrade from his side he learns to say good-by. The 
softest hearts have learnt just to swallow dry three times in 
their misery and still they have remained the best and most 
faithful souls. Hold up your head, Franzel; do it for 
your old uncle's sake; hold up your head, Hans Unwirrsoh! 
If such young people as you rub their noses in the dust 
what are we old fellows to do?" 

Franziska pressed the hard, hairy hand that the soldier 
held out to her tenderly to her breast; she looked at him 
and although tears glittered in her eyes she smiled and 
said: 

' ' Oh, my dear, good Uncle ; I will do everything that you 
want me to. I know that it is wrong of me to show such 
sadness in return for your love; you must be indulgent 
with me, — ^you have spoilt me very much with your love." 

The old man took up the weak little hand which he held 
in his broad paw and looked at it attentively. 

"Poor child, poor child," he murmured. "As forsaken 
and blown about as a little bird that has fallen out of the 
nest: — and Theodor and his wife — and Kleophea — Oh, it's 
a shame ! Poor little bird, poor little bird, — and I, old vaga- 
bond that I am, haven't even the most wretched corner to 
give it shelter." 

He shook his head for a long time, growling and sighing; 
then he brought his hand down on the table : 

"Let's be merry. Pastor. So you know that Moses 
Freudenstein who now, with eight hundred thousand other 
loafers, infests the Paris streets? That's a fine acquaint- 
ance and really suits you about as well as a howitzer suits 
dried peas." 

"I should be very sorry if Moses, if it is really he, should 
really deserve your displeasure so much, Mr. Gotz," an- 
swered Hans. "We grew up together, we were friends at 
school and at the university ; and moreover he can scarcely 



THE HUNGEE PASTOR 427 

have been six months in Paris. I hope it is a mistake ; I 
hope so with all my heart ! ' ' 

The lieutenant now asked Hans to describe the personal- 
ity of poor, good Moses exactly, and at every detail that 
Hans mentioned he was unfortunately obliged to nod and 
look interrogatively at his niece. 

"It's he. It's as sure as a gun. That's the rascal, isn't 
it, Franzchen? I'll tell you the tale in a few words, to put 
an end to the matter. As my brother's death took place 
very suddenly my niece was left all alone for some time in 
that nest of Satan and I know what that means because I 
was there on a visit in 1814 and '15, but there were a good 
many others with me. Poor child, poor child ! I know what 
it means to be left all alone in that turmoil — She 's pulling 
my coat again, Pastor ! Now please leave me alone, Fran- 
zel ; let me tell him. ' ' 

"I'd rather you didn't, Uncle," whispered the young girl, 
' ' and you looked at the matter in a worse light than it was ; 
that gentleman " 

"Was a scoundrel who had to be ground into a pulp; — 
no, don't pull me, Franzel." 

Franziska threw a beseeching glance at Hans Unwirrsch 
and he had seldom felt so uncomfortable on any seat, be- 
sides he did not now learn after all in what relation his 
friend had stood to the young lady and the old soldier. Al- 
though the uncertainty troubled him much and the doubt of 
his friend that had been aroused in him pierced his heart, 
he would not have increased the pale girl's grief by eager, 
prying questions, for anything in the world. Only one 
thing was clear to him: chance must have led the winsome 
Moses into the house in which Franziska had lived after her 
father's death, helpless, lonely and unprotected, and that 
his behavior could not have been of the most chivalrous 
kind. On one of the boulevards a violent scene had then 
taken place between Mr. Gotz and Mr. Freudenstein, and 
the former had certainly brought home with him to the 



428 THE GEEMAN CLASSICS 

German fatherland a deeply rooted antipathy to poor 
Moses. 

Before the windows of the "Post-horn" another horn 
now sounded discordantly. The night-watchman called the 
tenth hour and the little party separated. The lieutenant 
took leave of the theologian in cordial fashion and admon- 
ished him once more to keep his head above water and to 
break his neck, if it must be, only in the best of health. Fran- 
ziska Gotz too, at his command, had to shake hands with the 
young man in parting and did so quite naturally and with- 
out embarrassment. The lieutenant and his niece had to 
leave early the next morning to reach the railway which 
now ran to the capital in the north. Hans Unwirrsch was 
able to sleep longer; no line of railway went as yet to 
Neustadt and, indeed, the town felt no need at all of being 
made accessible to the rest of the world in such a way. 
Hence if Hans resolved to bid the two travelers Godspeed 
once more at the carriage door in the morning, it certainly 
showed his good intentions and if he overslept, that was 
the fault of fate, which prevented his good intentions from 
being carried out. 

He really did oversleep after having tossed about sleep- 
lessly half the night. His long tramp and the wind, which 
rushed over the roof and whistled round the corners. Uncle 
Griinebaum's letter and Lieutenant Eudolf Gotz's strong 
punch, Mr. Moses Freudenstein in Paris and pale, sad 
Franziska would not let him sleep. He got up and lit the 
light, only to blow it out again ; he could not get his ideas 
into any sort of order and if usually his imagination came 
to his aid when he was in a depressed mood to comfort him 
with all kinds of bright and lovely pictures of the past or 
to hold up before him the magic mirror of the future with 
smiles and teasing beckonings, it now only drove ghostly 
shadows round his head and concealed in the most threat- 
ening manner both what lay near and what lay distant. 

In all his life Hans Unwirrsch had never felt so lacking in 
courage as in that night ; — ^until then he had been too happy. 



THE HUNGER PASTOR 429 

Now, for the first time dark, merciless hands reached into 
his life from all directions ; the narrow, secure circle which 
a kind fate had drawn about his youth had now been broken 
through ; he was being dragged out into the great struggle 
of the world, of which the young girl who was spending the 
night at the Post-hdm under the same roof as he, knew so 
much more than he did. 

Vae victisl 



Chaptee XII 

They were gone ; but he knew neither who they were nor 
what they were to become to him. There, near the stove, 
stood the table at which they had sat, and the landlady put 
the coffee on it and pushed up a chair for Hans Un- 
wirrsch. The landlord came back from his morning tour 
through the yard and garden and brought him a last greet- 
ing from the two travelers. They were gone. 

Before Hans drank his coffee he looked once more 
through the window out upon the street. No sign of them 
there any more. 

"That was a gallant old gentleman," said the landlord, 
and the landlady said : ' * Poor young lady ! I should really 
like to know what is the matter with her ; my Mary, who 
slept in the room next hers, heard her crying all night long. 
She must have known much sorrow in her young life. ' ' 

Hans came back from the window, sat down on the chair 
on which he had sat the evening before and looked at the 
two empty chairs. He began to go over in his mind every 
word that had been spoken the day before. 

"And he doesn't write to me — I don't know his address 
— I can't ask him what he did to hurt the young lady. It's 
like a dream. Oh Moses, Moses!" 

They were gone, and the wind too had subsided. The sky 
was almost grayer than the day before but there was not a 
breath of air stirring now. 



430 THE GERMAN CLASSICS 

"It was a strange meeting after all! If I had only seen 
tlie lieutenant once more .... And the burden on my 
shoulders is so heavy without this! Oh, what wouldn't I 
give if I only knew Moses' address!" 

The innkeeper, feeling obliged to cheer his guest up, told 
him all the remarkable, funny and sad occurrences of the 
little place, but Hans could only listen with half an ear ; — 
they were gone, and finally he too could no longer endure 
the heavy atmosphere of the inn parlor. He felt that he 
must also get away, must breathe some fresh air. So he 
paid his bill and went, accompanied by the best wishes and 
blessings of the Post-horn. He strode through the sleepy 
place without looking to the right or to the left ; not until 
he was out on the country road again did he look up and 
about him and almost wished for the wind of yesterday. 
Then there had at least been life, even though it had been 
weird ; but today every bare furrow cried : the great Pan is 
dead ! — and full of mourning the clouds hung low over the 
lifeless earth. It was fortunate for the wanderer that the 
way behind the next village led into an extensive forest of 
fir-trees. Even though it was still darker there than be- 
tween the open fields, yet the fresh smell of the balsam 
strengthened him in mind and soul. In this wood Hans 
Unwirrsch at least left behind him his disquieting thoughts 
of the friend of his youth, for when he once more stepped 
forward out of the dusk of the forest the hills behind which 
his native town lay rose against the horizon and from now 
on everything had to recede before the vision of his sick 
mother, even the image of the lovely young lady who had 
sat opposite him the evening before. 

Hans Unwirrsch wandered on without stopping; he 
would not allow himself another rest. An irresistible power 
within him drove him forward ; by two o 'clock in the after- 
noon he stood at the edge of the wood from which one can 
see Neustadt lying at one 's feet. 

"Oh Mother, Mother!" sighed Hans stretching out his 
hands toward the town. "I am coming, I am coming. I 



THE HUNGEE PASTOE 431 

went forth with great hope and I am coming home in great 
pain and with many doubts. Oh dear, dear Mother, will 
you too forsake your child? You couldn't do that. Oh, 
why did I not stay down there, why did I let myself be lured 
away over this mountain and forest by a mistaken, false 
yearning ! What am I bringing home that for you and me 
could take the place of that lost peace and happiness in 
which my father passed his days?" 

And now the terrible thought came to him that his 
mother might be dying while he delayed there and he ran 
down the hill till he was out of breath and, while walking 
at a more moderate pace, he collected himself again. 

Now he walked through the old gate and now through 
the streets of the town. From more than one window 
people looked after him, more than one acquaintance met 
and greeted him ; but he could pay no attention to anyone. 
He was in Kroppel Street; he stood before the paternal 
house; he knelt beside his mother's bed and did not know 
whether a moment, a minute or a century had passed since 
that second when he stood at the edge of the woods. Nor 
could he give any account of what was said in the first few 
moments of his homecoming. Perhaps nothing was said 
at all. 

Now he read his mother's frightful sufferings in her face 
and worn features, and wept bitterly. Then he whispered 
to her that he was there, that he would never go away 
again, and that she must not leave him either. And then, 
in a faint voice, the sick woman tried to soothe him and he 
felt a hand on his shoulder and finally raised himself up. 

Auntie Schlotterbeck stood behind him; she had not 
changed at all and gently she reminded him that he must 
control himself and must not excite his mother too much. 

There was Uncle Griinebaum too, very gentle and reti- 
cent ; Uncle Griinebaum who knew that there is a time for 
everything and that everything must be regarded and 
treated and discussed in the proper manner. 

Hans now shook hands with Auntie Schlotterbeck and 



432 THE GEEMAN CLASSICS 

Uncle Griinebaum and they both talked to him comfortingly 
and soothingly. He looked round him again in the low, 
dark, shabby room and in spite of all his grief and all his 
pain he felt a calm, an assurance which, during his tortur- 
ing journey, he thought he had lost forever. 

And now Uncle Griinebaum prepared to express his feel- 
ings in a well considered speech ; but Auntie Schlotterbeck 
interfered after his preliminary clearing of the throat and 
half persuasively, half forcibly led him out of the door so 
that all he could do was to call back over his shoulder : 

"Don't excite her, Hans. Be himaane with her; behave 
like a filial son and composed mind, the doctor has given 
us strict orders." 

As soon as the mother and son were alone the mother 
said: 

"You must forgive me, Hans, that I had you called away 
from your work ; but I had such a great yearning for you 
I could not help it. You have always been my comfort; you 
must be it now too. I longed for you so much. ' ' 

"Oh Mother, dear Mother," cried Hans Unwirrsch^ 
"don't talk as if my happiness and welfare were more im- 
portant than yours. Oh, if you only knew how gladly I 
would give everything that I have gained by my work while 
away if I could only spare you the smallest part of your 
pain! But you will grow better, you will soon be well 
again. Oh Mother, you don't know how much I need you; 
no wisdom that can be taught on earth can give what a 
mother's word and look gives us." 

"Just hear the boy," cried Frau Christine. "Does he 
want to make fun of the old washerwoman. Such a learned 
gentleman! But never mind, Hans. Hans, do you know 
that you are growing more and more like your sainted 
father? He behaved just like that if the sun went behind 
the clouds for a little while. He was a scholar too, even if 
he hadn't been to the university and I often had to wonder 
at the man. One day he would be as high in the air as a 
lark and the next day he would creep along the earth like a 



THE HUNGER PASTOR 433 

snail. You will mount up into the blue sky again, Hans, 
don't worry about me; I have nothing to reproach God 
with, he has meant well with me ; he has given me a happy 
life and he cannot help the burden that he now lays upon 
me; that is everyone's lot and no one can escape it." 

Hans felt much humiliated at the bedside of this poor, 
simple woman who had to endure such tortures and yet 
could speak and comfort so heroically. Even though his 
grief at the loss which threatened him grew more violent, 
his weak despondency of the last few days disappeared. He 
felt sure on his feet again, his true, real sorrow gave him 
back his inner self-control ; in his profession he separated 
the real, the content from the non-essential, and for the 
first time really applied it to life. These difl&cult days had 
a deeper effect upon him than all the days he had spent in 
lecture rooms or in only half fruitful study. He now 
stepped out of the unwholesome spell of flattering, ener- 
vating imaginings, and dull, heavy broodings into real life ; 
he did not lose his hunger for the ideal, the transcendental, 
but to it was now added hunger for the real, and the fusing 
of both, which took place in such solemn hours, could not 
but produce a good cast. 

He arranged a table for his work at his dying mother's 
bedside. There he sat and wrote and, at the same time, 
watched the sick woman's slumber. The consistory had 
given him his examination themes; he began to work at 
them with an eagerness which he had believed was quite 
dead in Tiim. It was a strange, sadly happy time. 

What a light Master Anton's glass globe cast across the 
table and through the room in the evening and at night! 
Never before and never afterwards did it shed such a lustre. 

Frau Christine saw her whole life in its glow as in a 
magic mirror. She saw herself as a child, as a young girl, 
and felt as one. Her parents and her parents' parents 
came and went; she saw them as clearly and as vividly as 
Auntie Schlotterbeck herself might have seen them. She 
thought of the games she played as a child and of all her 

Vol. XI— 28 



434 THE GEEMAN CLASSICS 

girl friends, and the light of the globe was like moonlight, 
sunrise and sunset, or like high noon. The sick woman 
had forgotten so much and now suddenly it all came back 
to her and no part of it was lost, — it was really amazing. 
She often had to close her eyes because the figures and 
varied scenes of that distant time passed before her in too 
great abundance ; — now for the first time she realized how 
much, how infinitely much she had experienced in her life 
after all. Her Anton had often complained that he had to 
sit so quiet and so surrounded by dusk and that he couldn't 
bear to think of all the people who journeyed over hill and 
dale and across the wide ocean and of those who discovered 
strange countries and of all the tumult and bustle that 
there was in the world; — Frau Christine thought of these 
complaints as she lay on her bed of pain, nodded and shook 
her head and smiled. Foolish Anton, had he not had 
enough turmoil and excitement in his life? Had there not 
been plenty of happenings in it? There was their wedding 
day, for instance, when Christine had danced for the last 
time as a girl and Anton had looked so stately in his wed- 
ding clothes. Had that not been a bright bit of life and 
a greater thing than to saU across the seas to outlandish 
places? And what h,ad they not lived through in the time 
of the French wars, when Anna, to whom Brother Nik 'las 
had nearly become engaged, had gone off with the Hussars? 
That had been in 1806 and it really seemed queer to think 
of how troubled Anton had been about the hard times and 
of how nobody thought of the French now any more than 
Brother Nik 'las thought of Anna. There was Auntie 
Schlotterbeck who had lived through all these things and 
who could see the dead; but still she could not command 
all the memories that Frau Christine could, for she had 
never borne a child and had no son to grow up and sit at 
the table, a learned man, and send glances to her across his 
books. Oh, how much, how much one could think of by 
the light of the magic globe ; it made it reaUy easy, even 



THE HUNGEE PASTOR 435 

when the pain was at its worst, to lie quiet and to wait 
patiently for the last hour ! 

We described at the beginning how Hans, as a little 
chUd, lay in his bed in the winter night and watched his 
mother get ready for her early work. We spoke of the 
strange, mysterious pictures his fancy drew of the places 
to which she went, of how he saw the shadows dancing on 
the walls and watched carefully to see what became of them 
when the lamp was blown out. Now, as a grown man, he 
was compelled to give way to very similar and yet quite 
different feelings. He had had some experiences and had 
learnt much ; it would have been no wonder if he had en- 
tered into these hours with more mature moods ; but just 
as his mother was surprised at the return of the memories 
of her youth, so too he had reason to wonder at the return 
of these feelings. 

While he turned over the pages of his books by the light 
of the glass globe and from time to time looked over at 
the sick woman's bed Tie thought of how his mother was 
now again preparing to go away and leave him alone in 
the dark. Just as then he had often begged her with 
tears to stay, so he would have liked to beg her now. Often 
the great fear came over him which he had felt such long 
years before when the lamp had been blown out, his 
mother's step had died away and sleep did not immediately 
close his eyes. He heard the snow trickling down the win- 
dow as he had heard it then ; the night watchman called the 
hours, the moonlight glimmered through the frozen panes, 
the old furniture cracked and creaked as it used to, the noc- 
turnal world stirred in ghostly fashion as then. 

If his mother was sleeping in such moments he could 
escape from the fearful throng of feelings only by working 
on as hard as possible at the most difficult parts of his task 
and even this did not always bring relief. But if his mother 
was awake he only needed to lay down his pen and to take 
her faithful hand in his : then the comfort he received was 
the best there could be for him. If there was anything that 



436 THE GEEMAN CLASSICS 

later influenced his acts, his plans, his views and his whole 
life it was the soft words that were whispered to him in 
such hours. 

"See, dear child," said the old woman, "in my poor mind 
it has always seemed to me that the world would not 
amount to much if there were no hunger in it. But it 
must not be only the hunger for food and drink and a com- 
fortable life, no, I mean a very different thing from that. 
There was your father, he had the kind of hunger that I 
mean and it is from him that you have inherited it. Your 
father too was not always satisfied with himself and with 
the world; not that he was envious because others lived 
in more beautiful houses, or drove in carriages, or any- 
thing like that; no, he was only troubled because there 
were so many things which he did not understand and 
which he would have liked so much to learn about. That is 
a man's hunger, and if a man has it and at the same time 
does not entirely forget those whom he ought to love, then 
he is a real man, whether he gets on well or not — that 
makes no difference. But woman's hunger lies in another 
direction. First of all it is for love. A man's heart must 
bleed for light, but a woman's heart must bleed for love. 
It is in this that she must find her joy. Oh child, I have 
been much better off than your father, for I have been able 
to give much love, and much, much love has fallen to my 
share. He was so good to me as long as he lived, and then, 
I have had you, and now when I am going to follow my An- 
ton you sit beside me and what he wanted to have you have 
got and I have helped you to get it; isn't that enough to 
make me very happy? You must not grieve so about your 
foolish mother or you will make my heart heavy and I know 
you don't want to do that, you never have done it." 

The son buried his face in the sick woman 's pillows ; he 
could not speak, he could only repeat the word, Mother! 
sobbingly, but all the emotion that moved him was ex- 
pressed in it. 

During his stay in Neustadt at that time Hans Unwirrsch 



THE HUNGEE PASTOE 437 

seldom left the house. He greeted all the neighbors in 
Auntie Schlotterbeck's room, but he himself paid few visits. 
Wherever he did appear, however, he was gladly received 
and Professor Fackler held him so fast that he had finally 
to tear himself away with force. 

Oddly enough the Professor was now greatly interested 
in Dr. Moses Freudenstein and questioned poor, disturbed 
Hans most closely about him. 

"So the Talmudistic hair-splitter has gone to Paris? I 
can tell you, Unwirrsch, that boy gave me more embar- 
rassment while he was at school than I cared to show. "We 
can talk about it now : his objections and conclusions, the 
way he played with questions and answers often drove the 
sweat of fear out on my forehead. Truly one could not 
say: Credat Judceus Apella, — that promising youth was 
not so credulous ! With his appetite for all the good things 
of this world he'll make his way, there is no doubt about 
that, Unwirrsch. I can tell you, the greatest thing is the 
right kind of hunger; in monks' Latin — the gods of Latium 
protect us — ^we might say: Fames— -famositas, Ha! Ha! 
Well, God bless you, Johannes, and give you strength to 
bear your sorrow at home. We have the greatest sympathy 
for you -and if we can be useful to you in any way just 
come to me or to my wife. Eheu, after all, in spite of all 
good things, life is a vale of tears ! ' ' 

To what this last sigh referred is not quite clear to us 
although it was so to Hans Unwirrsch, who firmly believed 
that it was occasioned by his mother's Ulness, and so, 
deeply touched, he took leave, for the time being, of the 
good professor. 

During this time Uncle Griinebaum of course often found 
the opportunity to show himself in all his greatness. He 
came and went constantly and the house in Kroppel Street 
was not safe from him for a minute. Now he appeared in 
the door so suddenly that the sick woman started in her 
bed, now his dignified head darkened the window beside 
Hans' writing table so suddenly that the young man 



438 THE GEEMAN CLASSICS 

jumped up startled from his seat to gaze at the apparition. 
If it had not been for Auntie Schlotterbeck Uncle Griine- 
baum would have become a nuisance, but the thoughtful 
soul finally" organized a regular watch service and more 
than one child in Kroppel Street received orders to give a 
warning sign when Master Griinebaum turned the corner. 
When the alarm sounded Auntie Schlotterbeck always went 
and stood at the door to intercept the uncle and send him 
home again by means of cunning, or sometimes to lead 
him into her own little room. And thither Hans was then 
ordered to receive his uncle's words of consolation and 
advice. 

"So she is still no better? So sorry, it's too bad! But 
that's the way it goes in the world and if one man has to 
complain of his tobacco, the other has trouble with his 
pipe. "We all have to come to this thing; but it has a 
curious way about it. Now, there sits Auntie Schlotterbeck, 
a worn-out, miserable person, nothing but bones in a 
leather sack and, if you won't take it amiss, my saying so. 
Mistress Schlotterbeck, for the last twenty years I have 
thought from day to day that you would go out like a 
tallow candle. But now, there lies my sister, who was a re- 
markably robust woman, near to death, and you. Auntie, 
you keep on glimmering as if it were a matter of course 
and after all, perhaps you'll outlive even me and see me 
running round in the streets as a spirit in a white shirt 
and with three pairs of old boots under each arm. I'm 
ready to believe anything of you now. Oh dear, dear, Hans, 
what is man? What does he not have to endure in his life? 
Such great hunger " 

"And such very great thirst," threw in Auntie Schlot- 
terbeck. 

"That too, Miss Schlotterbeck," continued Uncle Griine- 
baum with dignity, though not without showing some an- 
noyance. "Such great hunger and — thirst, that no angel 
who has not tried it would believe. What does a man 
do when he has come to his years of discretion?" 



THE HUNGEE PASTOE 439 

"Sometimes he takes to drinking," grunted Auntie 
Schlotterbeck. 

"He hungers and desires everything that hangs too high 
for him," snarled Uncle Grriinebaum furiously. "Whoever 
asks too much deserves to get nothing; but whoever asks 
little certainly will get nothing at all. There was your 
father, boy ; he had the most ludicrous kind of hunger and 
he asked too much as well ; he wanted to be a cobbler and a 
scholar at the same time. What came of it? Nothing! 
Now, here is your dear Uncle Nik 'las, who was gifted with 
too great modesty and asked nothing but his daily 
bread " 

"And the Eed Earn and the political newspaper!" in- 
terposed Auntie Schlotterbeck again. ' ' And as he liked to 
sit in the Eed Eam better than on his work stool and as 
he liked better to whistle to his birds than to work and as 
he read the Post Courier in preference to the hymn-book, 
he comes here now and asks, what came of it and then 
actually wonders if thef answer is again: nothing." 

"Miss Schlotterbeck," replied Uncle Griinebaum, "you 
may impress some poor donkey that comes along, but can't 
impress me. I have enough of you for this time and I wish 
you good evening. It's enough to make me foreswear all 
Kroppel Street! Go to your mother, Hans, give her my 
love and my excuses that I could not see her this time, on 
account of excitement and inadequate self-control. I thank 
you, Auntie Schlotterbeck, for your pleasant entertainment 
and wish you, if it is possible, a clear conscience and a 
good night's rest!" 

During this sad time Auntie Schlotterbeck surrounded 
Hans with even more love and solicitous attention than 
usual, if that were possible. The supernatural element that 
was mixed with her consolation could not disturb him. 
These apparitions of the dead of which she spoke as of 
something real, had nothing fearful about them, nothing 
confusing ; — Hans Unwirrsch could sit for hours and listen 
to Auntie Schlotterbeck telling his sick mother about her 



440 THE GEEMAN CLASSICS 

visions and see Ms toother nod at the mention of some de- 
tail and remember something long past and forgotten. 

Auntie Schlotterbeck saw good Master Anton very fre- 
quently at that time, and the sick woman's worst pains were 
alleviated when Auntie Schlotterbeck told her about him. 

It was a very severe winter. Neither Auntie Schlotter- 
beck nor Frau Christine, both of whom had lived through 
so many winters, remembered one like it. When Hans, 
half against his will, went out for a walk to get a breath of 
fresh air, he felt as though everything that lay round him 
would remain forever so cold and dead, so bleak and bare, 
as if it were impossible that in a few weeks the trees would 
grow green again. More than once he mechanically broke 
off a twig, carefully to unroll the brown leaves of the bud 
and to assure himself that spring was really only asleep 
and not dead. 

But the snow melted in good time and the waters tri- 
umphantly broke their fetters. Hans Unwirrsch completed 
his work and one evening laid down his pen, stepped softly 
to his mother's bed and, bending down to kiss her, whis- 
pered : 

"Dear Mother, I hope that I have succeeded." 

At that his mother drew her son's head down to her with 
both her sick hands and kissed him too. Then she pushed 
him gently away and folded her hands. She moved her lips 
but Hans could not understand everything that she said. 
He heard only the last words. 

"We have managed to do it, Anton 1 Now I can come to 
you!" 

At the beginning of the new spring the Sunday came on 
which Hans was to preach his examination sermon. It was 
a day on which the sun shone again. 

A glass of snowdrops stood beside the sick woman's bed 
and the church bells had never sounded more solemn than 
on that day. The son, in his black gown, bent over his 
mother and she laid her hand on his young head and looked 
at him with smiling, shining eyes. Johannes Unwirrsch 



THE HUNGEE PASTOR 441 

looked deep, deep into those eyes which said more than a 
hundred thousand words would have said; then he went 
and Auntie Schlotterbeck and his Uncle followed him. His 
mother wished it to be so, she wanted to be alone. 

There she lay still, and had no more pain. In thought she 
followed her child through the streets, across the market- 
place, across the old church-yard to the low door of the sac- 
risty. She heard the organ and closed her eyes. Once more 
only did she open them wonderingly and look at the glass 
globe over the table ; it seemed to her as if it had suddenly 
given forth a clear tone and as if she had been awakened 
by the sound. She smiled and closed her eyes again, and 
then — 

And then? No one can say what followed then; but 
when Hans Unwirrsch came home from the church his 
mother was dead and all who saw her said that she must 
have had a happy death. 



Stjmmaby of Chaptees XIII, XIV, XV and XVI 

[As she had desired, Frau Christine was buried beside 
her husband. Those of her belongings that Hans wanted 
to keep Auntie Schlotterbeck took into her care; some of 
the rest were given to Uncle Griinebaum and some were 
sold. Hans rented the little house to a mason on the condi- 
tion that in every respect Auntie Schlotterbeck should be 
recognized as its keeper and his agent. 

After having thus arranged his affairs Hans bade fare- 
well to Neustadt for the second time and prepared to enter 
on the career of a tutor as he had failed to find an unoccu- 
pied parish. He accepted a- position on the estate of a cer- 
tain Mr. von Holoch, whose two children, a son and a 
daughter, he was to bring up and instruct. These children 
gave him no particular diflSculty; he easily won, too, the 



442 THE aEEMAN CLASSICS 

regard of the jovial master of the house whose interests 
were limited to hunting and agriculture, and the plump, 
good-humored and industrious housewife took care that 
his outward person increased in size. He was also good 
friends with the vicar and the manager as well as with all 
the other inhabitants of the estate and the village. He was 
temporarily embarrassed only when the housekeeper fell 
violently in love with him and finally behaved in such a 
way that she was obliged to leave the estate. Against his 
will and for no fault of his own Hans too, found that he 
must go. A rich aunt from whom a legacy might some day 
be expected appeared on the scene and Hans displeased her 
as much as he had pleased the housekeeper. She declared 
the tutor to be an unpolished boor who had never been 
properly brought up himself, and promised to have her 
nephew, Erich, educated to become a man of real culture, 
in the little capital where she was one of the bigger fish 
in the social sea. Mr. von Holoch and his wife were very 
sorry to see Hans go and, in their own way, gave him a 
touching farewell. 

By means of a newspaper advertisement Hans found a 
new position in the house of a well-to-do manufacturer who 
made some kind of evil-smelling stuff in Kohlenau near 
Magdeburg. When Hans arrived he found the region flat, 
the house, which stood near the factory, bleak and in- 
artistic, its inhabitants industrious and matter-of-fact. The 
three boys who were entrusted to his care were destined 
to become good business men. Under these conditions life 
weighed heavily on the young man of God and, as once be- 
fore in the government official's house, he longed for a 
freer, broader, more beautiful world which he believed he 
might be able to find in the metropolis. But his contract' 
with his employer bound him for three long years and Hans 
would probably not have got away before the time was up 
if, in the autumn, an epidemic, resembling hunger-typhus, 
had not broken out among the workmen, and with it a 
strike. Hans expressed opinions in regard to this matter 



THE NIGHTLY ROUND 



^f ^ iifo JR!aiin<ft»gi by Karl Spitzweg 



THE HUNGER PASTOE 443 

which his employer considered preposterous and disgrace- 
ful; in fact, he even openly took the part of the workmen 
and, in consequence, received notice to leave at Easter. 
Meanwhile his position in the house became more and more 
unbearable, his efforts to find a new situation were unsuc- 
cessful and one February afternoon our hero, sad and de- 
pressed, sat on a stone beside the road that led through a 
little clump of evergreens near the factory. He had no 
idea how near the turn in his fate was, which, at that very 
moment, was approaching at a trot in the shape of an 
elderly, somewhat red-nosed rider with a military mous- 
tache. 

It was Lieutenant Gotz, who greeted Hans character- 
istically and sought to explain his unexpected appearance 
by taking out of his pocket the newspaper in which Hans 
had advertised for a position. Then he asked Hans to tell 
him about his life since their meeting in the "Post-horn" 
in Windheim, and finally declared that he was delighted to 
find things going so abominably with the candidate. This 
made it possible for him to prove himself a rescuer in case 
of need. His brother, Privy Councillor Gotz, was looking 
for a tutor and the lieutenant, after seeing Hans' adver- 
tisement while reading the paper in a restaurant, had im- 
mediately made his way to Kohlenau with the aid of the 
railway, his feet, and a horse. He now gave Hans his 
brother 's address and asked him to write to the latter 
that he, the lieutenant, recommended Hans. He advised 
him moreover to write "official business" on the envelope 
so that it should not fall into the hands of Ms brother's 
wife. Then the old soldier bade him a short goodby. 

Hans went home busy with his thoughts, wondering at 
the way the past had joined itself to the present and at 
the prospects that opened in the future. The same evening 
he wrote till two o'clock composing a letter to the Privy 
Councillor which the postman carried away the next morn- 
ing. Two weeks of torturing waiting now passed. But on 
the twenty-eighth of February the postman handed him 



444 THE GERMAN CLASSICS 

the longed-for registered letter as he was on his way home 
in the pouring rain from the church which lay an hour's 
walk away. The tutor was requested to present himself 
personally and punctually to the Privy Councillor at fif- 
teen minutes to twelve on the eighth of March. 

At the prospect of Hans' departure the attitude of the 
manufacturer and his family became more conciliatory and 
the parting did not take place without emotion. Hans left 
his trunk behind him, as the bookkeeper had promised to 
send it to him wherever he might be, and, armed only with 
a light traveling bag, he set forth to meet his new fate. 
Once more to his astonishment he found the lieutenant sit- 
ting on the same stone in the clump of evergreens on which 
he himself had been sitting when the lieutenant surprised 
him before, and together they continued their way on foot. 
Behind the wood, in the village of Plankenhausen, they 
stopped for breakfast, after which the lieutenant thought it 
advisable to take a carriage which brought them to the 

town of . From there they took the train for some 

distance but got out again at the last station before they 
reached the great metropolis, for the lieutenant maintained 
that it was better for Hans to enter his new life on foot 
because his miiid would thus have the opportunity to calm 
itself and because he, the lieutenant, had another story 
which he could tell best on the march. 

This story was the family history of the Gotzes. Their 
father had been an officer of justice in the service of a 
count in the Harz Mountains — a conscientious, delicate 
man, and inhumanly learned. He would have liked to 
make of his sons just such gloomy reservoirs of knowledge 
but succeeded only in the case of his second son, Theodor. 
He studied law and with untiring industry and ever ready 
submission to the government finally became Privy Coun- 
cillor after having married his pious wife, Aurelie, nee 
von Lichtenhahn. There were two children of the mar- 
riage ; a daughter Kleophea, a girl who would fit into any 
description of the temptation of St. Anthony, and a son 



THE HUNGEE PASTOE 445 

Aime, bom seven years later. The eldest of the three 
Gotz brothers was Lieutenant Eudolf, who was then over 
sixty. His father had sent him to a school of forestry and 
he had finally received an appointment in that branch in 
the count's service. In the unhappy year 1806 he had en- 
tered the Prussian army and later took part in the cam- 
paigns in Eussia and France. The youngest of the three 
had been Felix who had died five years before, but who in 
his youth had been a hot-headed, splendid fellow unable 
to stand any discipline. When the volunteer corps against 
Napoleon was formed he fled in the night and joined the 
cavalry. During the war the two brothers met in 1813 on 
the Elbe, in 1814 in Paris; after the war Eudolf Gotz 
continued to serve in a small garrison but Felix filled and 
killed his time with sins. Then he tried his luck in 
America. For years nothing was heard of him, but in 1830 
when things began to grow lively in Europe again he 
turned up once more as a Peruvian or Colombian captain 
and sought out Eudolf.* He had seen much and had come 
back from America with a wife and a daughter. He had 
left them in Paris while he himself was on his way to 
Poland, where he meant to take part in the revolution. He 
remained till the defeat of the Poles at Ostrolenka. Ill, 
tattered and bleeding, in 1832, he knocked again at Eudolf 's 
door, thus compromising the Prussian officer — and that 
was the reason that Eudolf had retired himself so that he 
might not be retired. Felix went back to his wife and 
child in Paris, Eudolf made his way through the world as 
well as he could as a half-beggar and whole vagabond. In 
1836 he too went to Paris, arriving just in time for his 
sister-in-law's funeral. The younger brother had gone 
even more to the dogs than the elder and the two now com- 
bined and gave fencing lessons. Eudolf left Paris as soon 
as he thought that he had again set his brother on his feet, 
but soon after his departure the same old story began 
again. Felix died in misery and Eudolf fetched his niece 
and brought her to his brother Tbeodor's house. 



446 THE aEEMAN CLASSICS 

During this tale night had come on and, from a hill, the 
travelers suddenly saw the great city lying at their feet. 
Hans could not take it in in a moment. It seemed to him as 
if he were standing at the edge of the sea into which he 
was to plunge and learn to swim; an irresistible power im- 
pelled him and yet he was afraid. The lieutenant encour- 
aged him and steered him, inexperienced, awkward, and 
often surprised as he was, through the bustle and crowd 
of the big city, without any mishap, to the "Green Tree" 
Inn. The landlord, Lammert, reported in military fashion 
that the "slayers of nine" were all assembled and at the 
lieutenant's command Hans had room 13, beside that of 
the old soldier, assigned to him. 

After they had washed, the lieutenant introduced Hans 
to the conipany of the "slayers of nine." It was made up 
of men who had all at one time been connected with the 
military service and Colonel von Bnllau, owner of the estate 
of Grunzenow and formerly the commander of Eudolf 
Gotz's regiment, presided over it. Its purpose was first of 
all the promotion of sociability and good-fellowship and it 
took its name from the rule that, in his real or imaginary 
tales of war, no member might, in one evening, boast of 
more than nine victims of his valor. In the society of these 
good-humored, bluff, thoroughly seasoned old warrioirs 
Hans spent his first evening in the metropolis. The next 
day the lieutenant showed Hans somewhat more of it, that 
is, he dragged him not only through taverns and pastry 
cook's shops but also through collections of weapons and 
art museums. In the evening, after they had again supped 
in the "Green Tree," they went to the opera and heard 
"Don Giovanni." The theatre alone with its richly colored 
life intoxicated the theologian, who at certain moments was 
all but overcome by the painful feeling of having missed 
untold experience. But when the real play on the stage 
went forward he was so spellbound that he himself became 
the "stone guest" of that evening. 



THE HUNGEE PASTOR 447 

After the performance the two went to a popular wine 
tavern frequented especially by actors, singers and writers. 
Among them there also appeared a certain Dr. Stein, who 
was making a considerable stir just then. In him Hans 
recognized — the lieutenant was just greeting an acquaint- 
ance in the next room — Moses Freudenstein and, much af- 
fected, went to his table to greet him. The dapper, 
bearded gentleman, however, seemed most embarrassed, ex- 
plained to Hans that he was now Dr. Theophile Stein and 
begged him not to attract attention to them. He promised 
to explain everything to him the next day. Hans complied 
with his boyhood friend's request and later did not respond 
to the lieutenant's remark that this literary fellow and 
journalist, Dr. Stein, did not please him particularly and 
that it seemed to him as if he had already seen his face 
somewhere. Moses took no further notice of the two men 
till they were about to leave when he succeeded, after the 
lieutenant was already outside, in slipping his visiting card, 
with his address, into' Hans' hand. In his room in the 
"Green Tree" his friend gazed at this card long and 
thoughtfully before he could make up his mind to go to 
bed.] 



Chapter XVII 

Almost all night long Hans Unwirrsch had to listen to 
all the tower clocks the strokes of which reached his pillow. 
He heard voices of all kinds as he lay awake. The big city 
sounded every passing quarter of an hour in his ear with 
a twelve-fold stroke. The tones came from near-by and 
from far away; — ^first came the dull bell from quite close 
by, then the light, clear tone that rang in the distance and 
sounded much like the bell in a railway station. This fine, 
distant little voice was followed by the sonorous rumbling 



448 THE GERMAN CLASSICS 

of the clock on St. Nicholas' tower; and so it went on and 
on, one clock and bell following close on another's heels. 

It was a curious thing to lie thus in a strange house, in a 
strange town, in a strange world, counting the hours of 
night and recalling his past life in an effort in some way to 
connect it with the mad events of the present. 

What was the relation of Dr. Theophile Stein to the 
Moses of Kroppel Street, the Moses of the Gymnasium and 
of the university? Hans Unwirrsch gave up bothering his 
head about that. Inexplicable as this figure might be that 
had suddenly risen out of the ground, its outlines were yet 
too distinct and sharp to admit of any doubt as to its 
reality. 

It is possible to think of many people whUe counting the 
hours in the night. We can think of living people and of 
dead, particularly of the latter, for the night is the time 
for spirits. 

Hans thought of his dead, — of his mother, of her old 
black box where she kept her savings, of her kind, faithful 
eyes and of the morning on which he, returning from his 
sermon, had found those eyes closed. Hans thought of his 
father, of the shining glass globe, of his beautiful book of 
songs. Now, gradually all his narrow, hemmed-in child- 
hood rose before him in the dark, and once the restless 
dreamer raised himself in bed believing that he heard the 
voices of Auntie Schlotterbeck and Uncle Griinebaum on 
the stairs outside. It was a closely circumscribed world, to 
be sure, that surrounded the candidate that night, but when 
morning dawned it had made him able to meet with assur- 
ance the wider world which now opened before him. Lieu- 
tenant Gotz did not need to haul "his preceptor" out of bed 
that morning. He found him fully clothed and ready — as 
the lieutenant expressed it — "to offer a broad back for 
everything that might be laid upon it" 

Thrice Lieutenant Gotz walked round Unwirrsch, candi- 
date for the ministry, and regarded him with favor, 

"You look just as they do on the stage," he said as he 



THE HUNGEE PASTOR 449 

finished his third circle. ' ' What is theology without black 
trousers? What is a preceptor without a dress coat? My 
word! — You're capital! A little out of fashion, but very 
decent! My friend, if those two beautiful black coat-tails 
don 't please my brother Theodor, it can only be the fault 
of the blue handkerchief which peeps out from between 
them perhaps a little too impertinently to suit my fastidi- 
ous sister-in-law." 

Hastily Hans stuffed the handkerchief as far down into 
the depths of the pocket as he could, but the lieutenant 
cried: 

"Let it hang, let it hang out boldly! That's not why I 
remarked upon it, upon my word. What do you care for 
Theodor and Kleophea; if only " 

The old man broke off ; Hans did not learn at that time 
what was to have followed the words "if only." At a 
quarter past eleven he was on his way with the lieutenant 
to the house of the Privy Councillor Grotz. 

Hans had firmly declined the old soldier's advice to 
strengthen himself for the expedition with a glass of cognac 
and the lieutenant had said : 

* ' On the whole perhaps you are right ; my brother has a 
pretty keen nose and it might engender unjustified sus- 
picions. Forward ! " 

Hans had buttoned his clerical coat awry above his beat- 
ing heart. With joking irony Colonel von BuUau had waved 
a white handkerchief from the window of the "Green 
Tree;" the sun looked down from the sky at the preceptor, 
smiling, but not ironically. The weather left less to be de- 
sired that day than the lieutenant's humor. He talked or 
growled to himself the whole way; he had pulled his cap 
well doAvn over his forehead and seemed to have clenched 
his fists in his overcoat pockets. His shortness of temper 
was far from being delightful and the preceptor gave a 
positive start when his ill-humored guide suddenly ex- 
claimed: "Confound it, here we are already!" 

First they had left the busy, noisy business quarter of the 

Vol. XI— 29 



450 THE GERMAN CLASSICS 

town behind them, had wandered through a quieter, better 
quarter and now, by passing through a part of the park, 
they had reached the last row of houses in a still more ele- 
gant section which lay along the side of the park and was 
separated from it by driveways and riding paths. The 
houses in that street were approached through small gar- 
dens, well-kept even at that early season, and the lieutenant 
stopped before a fine iron garden gate and pointed grimly 
to the fine building beyond the round lawn and the empty 
fountain. 

Grimly he pulled the bell of the garden gate, Sesame 
opened, and the two men walked round the lawn and the 
fountain. Three steps — an elaborately carved door which 
also seemed to open of itself — a dim, elegant hall — colored 
panes of glass — the sound of a grand piano — a screeching 
parrot somewhere in a room — a servant in green and gold 
on whose foot Hans TJnwirrsch stepped in his confusion 
and who scorned to take any notice of the stammered apol- 
ogy — an opened door — a young lady in violet — a melodious 
ejaculation of pleased surprise and the young lady's clear 
laugh — a quarter to twelve ! 

"It's Uncle! Terrible Uncle! Uncle Petz! Oh what a 
joy! Uncle Grimbeard, above all things a kiss, mon vieux!" 

The young lady in violet fell on the bearish old man's 
neck so suddenly that he had to endure the kiss and re- 
turned it, as it appeared, in a somewhat better humor. 
Then, however, he freed himself quickly from the beautiful 
arms, pushed the young lady in violet back and turned 
to his black-gowned Hans. 

"This is my niece Kleophea; my niece with the pious 
name and the wicked heart. Beware of her, Candidate." 

The candidate did not step on the beautiful young lady's 
foot; he bowed to her at a respectful distance and she re- 
turned his greeting not at all coldly. The changing, charm- 
ing light in her eyes made a great impression on Hans in 
spite of his faithful Eckart's warning. 

"Won't you also introduce the gentleman to me. Uncle 



THE HUNGEE PASTOR 451 

Rudolf?" asked Kleophea, smiling. "You have given due 
publicity to my name and character; you know that you 
occupy the lightest and most comfortable corner in my 
wicked heart. Now be fair and " 

"Mr. Johannes Unwirrsch of Neustadt, candidate in the- 
ology — a young man well fitted to make spoilt young 
scamps of both sexes see reason, — a youth who possesses 
my entire approval." 

"That bodes ill for you, Sir," said the young lady. 
"What my uncle approves of — Jean, please, for goodness 
sake, don't stare at us with such extraordinary intelligence, 
go ; perhaps after all there may be some useful occupation 
for you somewhere or other! — is in this house often, ex- 
ceedingly often, not recognized at its true worth. But you 
please me and I will take you under my most frivolous pro- 
tection, Mr. Umquirl." 

"Unwirrsch! Theological candidate Unwirrsch!" 
snapped the lieutenant. 

"I beg your pardon. And so you are the patient gentle- 
man whom we have so long sought in vain for our lovely, 
angelic Aime? How very interesting, Mr. Eumwisch!" 

"Unwirrsch!! Confound it!" shouted the lieutenant. 
"Is your father at home, girl?" 

Kleophea nodded. ' ' March ! ' ' commanded the old man ; 
as Kleophea, Hans and the lieutenant ascended the stairs, 
Jean's wide-open rabbit-like eyes and imposing whiskers 
appeared again in the hall where their indignant possessor 
was waiting impatiently for the carriage containing his 
mistress who would certainly be also much interested in the 
news that the tutor, accompanied by Lieutenant Gotz, had 
arrived. 

Kleophea mounted the stairs at Hans' side; her uncle 
followed them growling. 

Twelve steps ! At the thirteenth the stairs turned to the 
right and when, in the corridor above, Hans looked round 
for the lieutenant the latter had disappeared. The candi- 



452 THE GERMAN CLASSICS 

date stood alone with Kleophea and she was much amused 
at the confused tutor. 

"Why, where is he? Where can he be?" she said laugh- 
ing. "Don't you know that side of him yet? He has de- 
livered you here and has disappeared like an old bearded 
magician. The magic coach has turned into an empty nut- 
shell, the horses are mice now and have run to their holes ; 
you might as well give up looking about you, Mr. Un- 
wirrsch. It is highly probable that my uncle has gone to 
find my cousin Franziska. So now you are left entirely to 
yourself and to me; — here is my Papa's room; I shall take 
much pleasure in introducing you. Without flattery, I am 
very well pleased with you and I hope that we shall not 
embitter each other's lives in this house." 

As she looked at him whUe she spoke the last words 
Hans was quite unable to beware of her as the lieutenant 
had so emphatically advised him. Her brown eyes pos- 
sessed a magic power of the first rank and if Circe's glance 
was at all like this it was no wonder that Gryllus would 
rather be a pig in her service than be a cook in the service 
of Odysseus, 

But the door opened. Kleophea led the tutor through 
a sumptuous drawing room into another room full of books 
and cabinets for documents. Hans bowed three times to- 
ward an extensive table covered with green cloth on which 
lay still more books and documents. A gentleman sat be- 
hind the table and on being greeted rose from his chair, 
grew taller, taller, ever taller — thin, black, shadowy — and 
finally stood there behind his papers, long, thin and black, 
buttoned up to his white tie like a sign-post bearing the 
warning: no laughter here. 

But Kleophea laughed nevertheless. 

"Candidate Unwirrsch, Papa," said she; Hans bowed 
again and the Privy Councillor Gotz cleared his throat, 
seemed to regret very much that he had risen, yet re- 
mained standing, now that he had once got up, and put his 
right arm rapidly behind his back, an action which in every- 



THE HUNGEE PASTOE 453 

one except Hans would have aroused the suspicion that he 
was pressing a spring, or turning a screw, or pulling a 
string. 

Whatever he was trying to do with the two buttons on the 
back of his coat, the result was a poor imitation of one of 
the six theological bows. 

"Candidate Unwirrseh," said Kleophea repeating her in- 
troduction, while her father seemed to deliberate in privy 
council how he should receive the tutor. At last he made 
up his mind and said : 

"I see the gentleman, have expected him indeed for the 
last ten minutes and now extend my welcome to him. Is 
my wife, your mother, at home, dear Kleophea?" 

"No, Papa." 

"Most regrettable ! Mr. Unwirrseh, I hope that a longer 
and nearer acquaintance will bring us closer together. 
Kleophea, when, will my wife, your mother, return?" 

"I can't say, Papa. You know that it is seldom possible 
to say definitely as to that." 

There was a sound of whirring in the Privy Councillor 
and he cleared his throat ponderously. Hans Unwirrseh 
thought the time appropriate to announce his firm desire to 
make himself as useful as possible and to perform his diffi- 
cult, but at the same time grateful, duties to the best of his 
ability. He thanked the Councillor for the confidence which 
he placed in a stranger and voluntarily promised in no w;ay 
to prove unworthy of it. 

While he was speaking the Privy Councillor had again 
reached behind him, set his mechanism in motion and had 
sunk slowly down into his chair behind his heap of papers. 
It is doubtful whether he was meditating deeply on the new 
tutor's words or whether he had not heard them at all; but 
truly magical was the way in which he jumped up again 
when the golden green lackey suddenly appeared in the 
room and announced that his mistress had just returned 
and wished to see and speak to the new tutor at once. 

"Go, Jean, and tell my wife that I will bring Mr. Un- 



454 THE GEEMAN CLASSICS 

wirrsch to her immediately, My dear Kleophea, will you 
not precede us?" 

Jean bowed and went; Kleophea shrugged her shoulders, 
smiled as she did so and also went. When they had both 
gone a miracle took place — the Privy Councillor took hold 
of the tutor by a coat button, drew him close to him and 
whispered : 

"It is my wish that you should remain in this house; 
as far as I can judge after this preliminary acquaintance 
with your person and status, you please me very well. I 
wish that you might also please my wife. Do your part 
to that end, and now come." 

The Privy Councillor now led the tutor across the draw- 
ing room through which he had entered to the room on the 
opposite side, at the door of which another noticeable 
change came over the man. The springs inside him seemed 
suddenly to lose their elasticity, the wheels and wires re- 
fused to work, his whole figure seemed to grow smaller, — 
the Privy Councillor knocked at his wife's door and seemed 
to feel a desire to peep through the keyhole first, or at least 
to listen at it. A moment later Hans Unwirrsch stood be- 
fore the — Mistress of the House. 

He saw a stately lady in black with an aquiline nose and 
a. double chin — as solemn as a starless night; she sat on a 
dark divan behind a table covered with dark drapery! 
The whole apartment made a solemn impression — every 
chair and seat an altar of dignity. Serious, chaste, solemn 
and dignified were walls, ceiling and rugs, pictures and cur- 
tains — everything in stately order and regularity except 
the seven-year-old, coffee-colored, puffy little brat who at 
sight of the tutor raised a horrible, detestable, furious howl 
and attacked Hans Unwirrsch 's legs with a toy whip, 

"Oh, Aime, what a way to behave!" said the lady in 
black. "Come to me, my darling, don't excite yourself so. 
Kleophea, won't you take the little whip away from the 
child?" 

Again Kleophea shrugged her shoulders. 



THE HUNGER PASTOR 455 

'No thank you, Mama. Aime and I ^^ 



' ' Be silent, now ; ' ' the Councillor 's wife cried with a ges- 
ture. ' ' I know very well what you want to say. Look here, 
my little lamb, see what I will give you for your whip. ' ' 

The charming child could not resist the box of sweets ; he 
put his instrument of torture into his mother's hands and 
she thus received the last touch that completed her impos- 
ing appearance. 

With the whip in her hand the lady of the house now de- 
voted herself entirely to the new tutor. She subjected him 
to a severe examination and asked for the most detailed in- 
formation about the ' ' conduct" of his life. The morals and 
dogmas of the young man to whom such a precious jewel 
was to be entrusted were very important to her and not 
all her questions could be answered without causing her to 
wrinkle her brow. On the whole, however, the examination 
ended favorably for the candidate and the conclusion was 
even very satisfactory. 

"I am glad to be able to hope that your work in this 
house will be blessed. You will find that the Lord has led 
you under a strictly Christian roof. You will find that the 
seeds of faith have already been sown in the heart of this 
sensitive little angel. Under my special, maternal super- 
vision you will be able to aid all the beautiful blossoms in 
this young heart to unfold and the Lord will bless your 
work. With a humble and simple heart you will work 
among us here and will not allow yourself to be led astray 
by any worldly laughter and mockery (at this point a 
glance and an imaginary blow with the whip struck her 
beautiful daughter Kleophea). Aime, nay little rosebud, 
you may give your hand to Mr. Unwirrsch now and say 
'how do you do?' " 

The little rosebud must have misunderstood this permis- 
sion. Instead of giving his tutor his hand he showed him 
something else and began again to howl and scream in the 
terrible manner we have described. When Hans dared to 
approach him he kicked him on the shins, so that with 



456 THE GERMAN CLASSICS 

painful feelings he withdrew and at a safe distance ex- 
pressed the hope that he and Aime might soon become more 
intimate with each other. 

"I hope so too," said Mrs. Gotz. "I hope that you will 
try your best to gain my boy's love and affection. It is easy 
to win a child's love by a simple and humble manner. Oh, 
what a treasure I am laying in your hands, Mr. Unwirrsch ! 
Oh, my sensitive little lamb, my Aime!" 

The Privy Councillor had not spoken a word throughout 
the proceedings. He stood there and apparently approved, 
at least externally, of everything. No sign betrayed what 
he may have felt within; in the presence of his wife the 
good man had learnt silently to possess his soul in patience. 

Kleophea had disappeared altogether. What she was 
doing behind the window curtain where she had hidden 
herself remained as great a secret as her father 's feelings. 
The tutor's feelings were not of the pleasantest. He looked 
into the future with apprehension and confessed to himself 
sighingly that even Kohlenau had had its charms. He felt 
himself surrounded by an atmosphere which furthered per- 
spiration and at the same time checked it. With no im- 
moderate sense of gratitude he thought of Lieutenant 
Eudolf Gotz, who had procured for him the honor and pleas- 
ure of entering this house as an educator. The puzzling 
disappearance of the man at the most important moment 
and on the stairs also admitted of no favorable interpreta- 
tion; Hans Unwirrsch began to think of him as a crafty 
character; the faithful Eckart was transformed into a 
deceptive will-o'-the-wisp which suddenly went out in the 
middle of the swamp. Beneath the gaze of the mistress of 
the house, Aurelia Gotz, nee von Lichtenhahn, Hans Un- 
wirrsch sank slowly but surely into the depths and neither 
from behind the window curtain nor from behind the Privy 
Councillor's back did a helping hand appear. 

It was from another direction that a hand brought aid. 

"Where is Franziska?" asked Mrs. Gotz. Kleophea be- 



THE HUNGEE PASTOR 457 

hind the curtain did not know ; the Privy Connoillor did not 
know either. 

' ' Please, Mr. Unwirrsoh, will you be kind enough to ring 
the bell?" asked Mrs. Gotz and Hans' eyes sought it. But 
just at the moment when he had found it the door opened 
which led from the drawing room into Mrs. Gotz's apart- 
ment and a small, insignificant figure in a gray, insignificant 
gown stepped into the room with downcast eyes; — Hans 
Unwirrsch did not ring. During the last half hour he had 
not thought of Franziska Gotz. 

"Oh, here you are, Franziska," cried Mrs, Gotz. "My 
niece, Miss Gotz, Mr. Unwirrsch!" she added briefly, at 
the same time looking, if possible, more stately and more 
like a glacier than before. "Have Mr. Unwirrsch shown 
to his room, my child; we have received him into our 
household. ' ' 

Franziska Gotz bowed in silence and, as she passed Hans 
inaudibly, she raised her eyes to him only to drop them 
again instantly. 

"Won't you follow my niece, Mr. Unwirrsch," said Mrs. 
Gotz laying down the whip. Hans made another bow of 
which this time no notice was taken ; he also bowed to the 
Privy Councillor, whose mechanism moved at least a little 
bit and, as the window curtain now moved slightly, Hans 
bowed to it as well ; then he followed Lieutenant Eudolf 's 
Franzchen and, once in the corridor, allowed himself to 
draw a deep, yet cautious, breath of relief. 

There stood the majestic servant again, whose whiskers 
seemed to swell the longer you looked at him. He looked 
over his liveried shoulder at the "new tutor" with legiti- 
mate contempt and manifested only a doubtful inclination 
to show the ungenteel starveling his way. 

But Fraulein Franziska Gotz too looked doubtfully at the 
man in green and gold, then turned to Hans and said softly : 

"If you will be good enough to go with me I will show 
you your room." 

Her voice was soft, gentle and low, "an excellent thing 



458 THE GERMAN CLASSICS 

in woman" as old King Lear said, and at its sound Jean 
turned on his heels and walked away with unbent knees, 
quite superior and quite convinced that he knew how to 
maintain the dignity of his position. 

"Oh, Miss Gotz, how strangely fate has brought us to- 
gether again and how thankful I am for that!" cried Hans ; 
but the girl laid her finger on her lips and whispered : 

"I have seen my Uncle Eudolf — ^have talked to him — 
he has told me about you. Oh, my poor, faithful, dear 
Uncle Eudolf!" 

She stopped speaking bufe Hans Unwirrsch saw a tear 
on her lashes; he did not dare to address her again but 
followed her silently up to the second floor of the house. 
At the bottom of his soul he said : ' ' God be praised ! " He 
must have had some reason to say so. 

"Here is your room," said Franziska, unlocking a door. 
"May you pass glad and happy hours in it. That is my 
sincere wish and my Uncle Eudolf 's too, who seems to be 
very fond of you." 

"How much I thank you, and how much I thank your 
uncle. All this that he has done for me is so undeserved. 
It is like a dream the way he has taken my fortunes into his 
hand and led me into this house. ' ' 

' ' He has often spoken of you since the evening when we 
met at that inn. I was so troubled at that time, so un- 
happy. Oh, good Uncle Eudolf, he has guided my poor life 
too. Oh, if you only knew him through and through, Mr. 
Unwirrsch!" 

"I hope to learn to know him and appreciate his full 
worth!" cried Hans. "If I stay long enough in this 
house " 

Franziska again laid her fingers on her lips as if fright- 
ened. 

"You must not talk so much about Uncle Eudolf in this 
house," she said. "My Aunt does not like him. It is very 
sad." 

"Oh!" sighed Hans Unwirrsch and a moment later the 



THE HUNGEE PASTOE 459 

Lieutenant's Franzchen had left him alone in his new quar- 
ters. He could look at them more closely and gaze out the 
window after he had examined the four walls and the furni- 
ture. There was nothing extraordinary about the blue- 
papered walls, the four chairs, the table, the hat-tree, the 
little sofa and the little round cast-iron stove ; but the view 
from the window was not so easily forgotten. 

In the middle of the lawn the fountain waS' now playing 
merrily with a shining brass ball. There was the orna- 
mental iron fence which separated the Privy Councillor's 
property from the public street of the big city. There was 
something wonderful to Hans Unwirrsch in the view of this 
promenade with its throng of carriages, riders and pedes- 
trians and he waited in vain for the variegated stream to 
come to an end. And there, beyond the driveway, riding 
and foot paths, was the wood-like park with its long 
straight avenues into which one looked as into a peep-show. 
And how beautiful that must all be when the trees were 
green ! Truly, the hope of this green to come was in itself 
some consolation for the grayness of the present. 

The porter from the "Green Tree" now came with a 
greeting from Lieutenant Gotz and brought the tutor his 
traveling bag, thus tearing him away from his observa- 
tions at the window. He would have to write to the man- 
ager in Kohlenau for the things he had left behind there. 
As Hans laid a Greek pocket edition of the New Testament 
on the table a card fell out of it on which could be read in 
fine steel engraving: 

Dr. Theophile Stein, 
25 Hedwig Street. 

Hans Unwirrsch had no more time to dream; he had to 
think and deliberate as well as he could with his mind baffled 
by an entanglement of persons and mutual relationships. 
Moses Freudenstein and Franziska Gotz, Franziska and 



460 THE GEEMAN CLASSICS 

the mistress of the house, the mistress of the house and 
Kleophea, the Privy Councillor, Jean in green and gold; — 
helium omnium contra omnes, and Hans Unwirrsch, Candi- 
datus theologice and tutor in the midst of them all ! That 
was a state of affairs in which a man was certainly justified 
in putting his hand to his forehead like some one who has 
been turned round many times in a circle blindfolded and 
after the bandage has been removed feels by no means 
steady on his feet and knows still less what to think of his 
surroundings. 

Hans Unwirrsch, too, felt irresistibly the need of winding 
up some of the springs in his being and tightening some of 
the screws. He read a chapter in the New Testament and 
followed that with a page in a pocket edition of Epictetus. 
He was then able to meet the stately Jean's eyes with 
greater composure when the latter came to call him to din- 
ner and let fall the remark that it was customary to wear 
white gloves to that function. 

For the first time Hans partook of bread and salt with 
his new associates in life. Again he had to answer many 
questions in regard to his preexistence and it appeared that 
in that preexistence many of the things that came onto the 
table were unknown. Mrs. Gotz still remained a bom von 
Lichtenhahn, the Privy Councillor remained what he was; 
Kleophea smiled and shrugged her shoulders, Aime was 
very unamiable, and Franzchen sat at the lower end of the 
table next to the candidate Hans Unwirrsch. 



SlTMMABY OF ChAPTEBS XVIII-XXI 

[Hans soon learned how things went on in the Privy 
Councillor's house. The sovereign power lay in the hands 
of the mistress of the house. Aurelia Gotz, nee von Lich- 
tenhahn, swayed the sceptre with a strong hand. She ruled 



THE HUNGEE PASTOE 461 

arbitrarily up to the boundaries of Kleopbea's realm. To 
the tutor Kleophea herself appeared to be a wonder. Un- 
usually beautiful and talented she drew and painted, played 
the piano, sang and read several languages, with preference 
French and whatever she should not have read. At five 
'clock teas she loved to speak to pious ladies of Boccaccio 
and the Decameron, to the vexation of her Mamma. Kleo- 
phea hated her Mamma because of the name she had re- 
ceived from the latter at her baptism and against which 
she had always protested. Much in the development of 
her character was due to this name and her opposition 
to it. She declared her brother to be a " horrid toad ' ' and 
he scarcely dared show himself in her presence. This did 
not improve her relations with her mother. She had hoped 
to find an ally in her cousin but soon pronounced her to be 
a "lamb." Still, she could not make an absolute slave of 
her. She treated her now as a confidant, now as the oppo- 
site, caressed her one day and pushed her brusquely aside 
the next. Franziska was not well treated by her aunt. The 
latter had not been friends either with * ' the despised, god- 
less freebooter and Jacobite" Felix, or with "the care- 
less beggar and ill-mannered vagabond" Rudolf. She had 
been glad, however, to take the orphan into her house ; the 
town talked of it, and she, too, was able to make it the sub- 
ject of conversation. The tutor was allowed to instruct the 
"sweet Aime" only under the eyes of his mother and this 
caused the teacher to sweat more than the pupil. 

One day, when Aime was ill from overstudy, that is, from 
over-eating, Hans sought out Dr. Theophile Stein. In 
answer to his knock a pretty, laughing young lady with 
very black hair and a rather uptilted nose opened the door. 
Behind this merry girl Theophile appeared, somewhat an- 
noyed and embarrassed, though he smiled when he recog- 
nized Hans and said : "Oh, it's you, come in." The lady 
put on her dainty, rosy little hat in front of the glass, threw 
the candidate a kiss and the words : "Bon jour, monsieur le 



462 THE GERMAN CLASSICS 

cure" and slipped out as gracefully as a bird. Dr. Stein 
followed her into the passage and for some time after Hans 
heard her joyful laughter. Then her clear voice cried: 
"TraUre, va!" and Moses came back into the room. He 
explained that this little full-blooded Parisian was a poor 
orphan, a little maker of trimmings to whom he had shown 
many kindnesses in Paris and who had now come to town to 
try her luck in working for the ladies there. He questioned 
Hans about his life and listened attentively when he heard 
that he was tutor in the house of Privy Cbuncillor Gotz. 
He called Hans an enviable fellow to be able to live under 
the same roof as the beautiful Kleophea Gotz and asked if 
he might come to see him there. He told of how he had 
had fencing lessons from Franziska Gotz's father, a drunk- 
ard and rather a canaille, and that he had often protected 
the girl from hunger and perhaps other misfortune. After 
the old freebooter had died of delirium tremens he had 
taken care of the unhappy girl until the arrival of her uncle 
from Germany. Of course he was a Jew and received the 
usual reward. The young lady thought that he had ex- 
ceeded his bounds. When he had tried to defend himself he 
had been insulted and scorned. It was the old story of the 
gratitude of the world. Thus in Hans' eyes he cleared 
himself of the lieutenant's accusations. He objected 
strongly to being called Moses, said that his name was now 
Theophile Stein, that he had forsworn the faith of his 
fathers and had become a Christian, a Roman Catholic, and 
that he might soon become a lecturer on the Semitic 
languages at the university. All these revelations gave 
Hans plenty to think about on his way home. 

For some time after that everything remained as it 
was. The tutor did his duty as well as he could; Mrs. 
Gotz became more and more convinced that unfortunately 
he too possessed a most obstinate and deceitful character. 
Kleophea discovered a new name for Franziska, called her 
I'eau dormante and drew caricatures of Hans. Franziska 's 



THE HUNGER PASTOE 463 

step remained as inaudible as before and her kindly care- 
filled face seldom brightened into a smile; nothing what- 
ever was heard of the lieutenant ; he had disappeared and 
gave no sign of life. The pej-son least spoken of in the 
Privy Councillor 's house was the Privy Councillor. 

During this time the soul of the theological candidate, 
Johannes Unwirrsch of Kroppel Street, was in an extraor- 
dinary state. He stood in the centre of the life for which 
he had longed so much; he had stepped down and the 
great roar had dissolved into single voices and tones and 
the voices that he heard around him were more harsh and 
evil than loving. He felt less satisfied than ever and was 
obliged to confess to himself that he had not as yet ac- 
quired an understanding of this world. Once for all he be- 
longed to those happily unhappy natures who have to 
solve every contradiction that meets them. It was simply 
that he had that hunger for the symmetry and harmony 
of all things which so few people understand, which is so 
hard to satisfy and is never completely satisfied except in 
death. 

In addition to all his other troubles Hans had much ado 
to defend himself against the charm that Kleophea exer- 
cised over him. 

Franziska was quieter than ever. In the meantime the 
signs of returning spring multiplied. Dr. Theophile Stein 
paid his first visit to the Privy Councillor 's tutor and was 
very winning and very amiable. He listened to every noise 
in the house, asked all sorts of questions about the tutor's 
life there, asked about the architecture of the house; the 
position and furnishings of the rooms on the first floor, 
about the pictures on the walls and the service in the 
kitchen. He was not uninterested in the sympathies of the 
Privy Councillor 's wife and still less so in her antipathies. 
He asked for detailed information about Aime as well as 
about the master of the house. At last he had finished, in- 



464 THE GERMAN CLASSICS 

wardly shut up his note-book and succeeded by a clever 
winding-up in convincing poor Hans that he had only asked 
all these questions out of interest in the fate and present 
life of the companion of his youth. 

Mrs. Gotz had of course heard of the visit and, at the 
dinner table, asked about this Dr. Stein, who was much 
talked of in town at the moment, and who was said to be 
very gifted and much traveled. At that Hans began to 
speak out of the fullness of his heart and told everything 
about Moses Freudenstein that he could tell. He praised 
his kind heart, clever head and scholarliness and unfor- 
tunately did not notice what a start the lieutenant's Franz- 
chen gave when she learnt who had that day been in the 
house in which she had sought protection. 

Hans said nothing of the merry French orphan as, when 
he was on the point of leaving. Dr. Stein had modestly and 
laughingly begged him not to mention her. The following 
day Franziska did not appear at the table ; she was not well. 
She was obliged to keep her bed for a whole week and, for 
the first time Hans had the opportunity of noticing what 
a gap her absence made. Suddenly the idea came into his 
mind that his speech at the table about Moses Freuden- 
stein might be the cause of the poor child's illness and this 
thought sent all the blood rushing to his heart so violently 
that he was scarcely able to breathe. The same morning 
the mistress of the house sent for him to come to her room 
where he found his friend Theophile Stein, alias Moses 
Freudenstein, sitting beside Mrs. Gotz, opposite Kleophea, 
with little Aime on his knee. Another older man was sitting 
there too. 

"Oh, here he is — the hunger pastor!" exclaimed Dr. 
Stein, thus giving our Hans his title officially. "Wake up, 
Johannes, it is I in the flesh." 

Dr. Stein spoke easily and with polish and Dr. Bliithe- 
miiller, lecturer on esthetics, made very fine, but quite aca- 
demic speeches, about the art of living beautifully. 



THE HUNGER PASTOR 465 

After he had emptied his horn of plenty the lady of the 
house opened hers. With sighing pathos she gave her 
views on the way to find Christian, esthetic peace in God. 
She raved about the way of the saints of God, and about 
old Italian pictures of virgins looking up to heaven, of 
martyrs and donors. 

Full of perfidy Dr. Stein asked the friend of his youth 
whether he had seen the pictures of which Mrs. Gotz spoke. 
Hans had seen them, but unfortunately he said what he 
thought about them, thereby incurring the displeasure of 
the lady of the house. Dr. Stein then entertained the little 
circle with an excellent discussion of the Pre-raphaelites 
and showed his erudition, experience in art, and knowledge 
of the world to the most brilliant advantage. He illumined 
all sides of life with clever remarks ; and in the great art 
of polishing up the mediocre, or even sUly remarks of those 
from whom he wanted to obtain something and then giving 
them back their property with a bow, he was past-master. 
He knew how all kinds of fish were caught and began by 
catching Mrs. Privy Councillor Gotz, nee von Lichtenhahn, 
but while he was puUing his catch ashore he did not lose 
sight of the golden scales and purple fins that still flashed 
about free in the water. 

As Dr. Theophile Stein had expected, Hans knocked at 
his door several times, to call him to account, but re- 
ceived no answer or else was told that Dr. Stein was not at 
home. 

When the lieutenant's Franzchen came out of her little 
room again she had become even quieter than before and 
although her behavior to the rest of the household was as 
usual it made Hans feel the more deeply and painfully that 
she was not the same to him as she had been. He knew the 
reason well and yet was unable to ask whether what Moses 
Freudenstein had said about her father was true. He 
watched her with strained anxiety and never failed to hear 
her softest footstep nor a single tone of her sweet voice. 

Vol. XI— 30 



466 THE GEEMAN CLASSICS 

To the same degree that the brilliant Kleophea lost her 
influence over him Franziska won hers. 

Dr. Theophile Stein repeated his visit without Professor 
BliithemuUer, and Hans was not invited again to be pres- 
ent in the drawing room. Dr. Stein did not blush when 
Franziska came into the room and, at the sight of him, sud- 
denly started and turned pale. He retained his composure 
when he was introduced to her and merely spoke coolly of 
already having had the pleasure of meeting Fraulein Gotz 
in Paris. This declaration caused Mrs. Gotz and her hus- 
band much surprise and astonishment. 

After Franziska had left the room Mrs. Gotz asked for an 
explanation of this curious circumstance and Dr. Stein ex- 
patiated on how sorry he was to have recalled to Fraulein 
Gotz such painful memories. He went on to tell his tale, 
and he was a good story-teller ; and his sonorous voice was 
well-fitted tenderly to emphasize all tragic nuances. It was 
the same tale that Hans had heard but adapted to another 
audience. This time he took a most sympathetic interest 
in this family misfortune and was able thoroughly to under- 
stand what Mrs. Gotz must have suffered on account of her 
brother-in-law's wretched life and death. 

After a time Kleophea came skipping into the room. She 
brought sunshine with her and youthful spirits; her eyes 
shone, her red lips laughed, she scarcely touched the floor 
with her feet. She greeted Dr. Stein, with enchanting irony; 
she was just in the mood to hurt the feelings of her fellow- 
men with small, perfidious insinuations and expressed a 
great thirst for knowledge in regard to certain Mosaic cus- 
toms and laws. Dr. Theophile was more than equal to her. 
He talked about the Jews with dramatic pathos, he knew 
how to make the best use of the heroes and martyrs his race 
had produced. He even succeeded in making of Kleophea a 
close and attentive listener. 

He was able to leave with a humbly proud bow and to be 
satisfied with the success of his visit. He was now what he 



THE HUNGER PASTOE 467 

wanted to be — a friend of the family. From now on, with- 
out suffering any detriment to his bodily or spiritual wel- 
fare, he could receive the visits of Candidate Hans Un- 
wirrsch. 

Spring had come in all its beauty, but it did not bring 
Hans Unwirrsch the consolation he had hoped. The lower 
he sank in the favor and esteem of the Privy Councillor's 
wife the less she left him to himself. And Franzchen, 
Franzchen Gotz? What had she to do with his great hunger 
for knowledge, for the world and life? What had she to 
do with his disappointments? In everything she pene- 
trated into the innermost recesses of his heart. It was im- 
possible to think of Auntie Schlotterbeck, or even of Uncle 
Griinebaum without Franziska, Lieutenant Rudolf Gotz's 
niece. She sat in the low, dark room in Neustadt and in the 
magically shining glass globe, she sat in the sunshine in 
the Neustadt cemetery beside his mother's and father's 
grave. 

The great sea of the world had tried to roll between them 
but it did not separate them; they greeted each other in 
silence, in silence they took their places beside each other ; 
the poisonous shade of the son of Samuel Freudenstein, 
the second-hand dealer of Kroppel Street, lay between 
them. 

Hans again sought out Dr. Theophile and for the second 
time he met the French orphan who owed so much to 
Theophile. This time she passed him with lowered head. 
She no longer skipped and laughed but leant heavily on the 
banister and her head was sunk very low. She looked very 
pale and had lost much of her former elegance. 

Theophile answered all the questions that Hans put to 
him and allowed himself to be catechized but the manner 
in which he justified himself left much for an honest and 
pious nature to desire. Finally he confessed quite openly 
that it was his intention to become a councillor in the cab- 



468 THE GERMAN CLASSICS 

inet of his Majesty, the King, and to try to win the affec- 
tion and later the little hand of Kleophea Gotz. 

From now on Dr. Stein came to the house of the Privy 
Councillor's wife daily, and daily she received him with a 
more cordial smile. He read with the ladies of the house, 
he drove with them, and there were many people in the 
city who envied Mrs. Gotz this interesting acquaintance, for 
the doctor was a man whose reputation was growing 
mightily. It could be heard growing. He gave lectures be- 
fore a select audience of both sexes on "The Rights and 
Duties of Human Society" and the exclusive, elegant frac- 
tion of humanity for whom these lectures were prepared 
was much pleased with them. They delighted Mrs. Gotz, 
but the objections that Kleophea raised gave the doctor the 
desired opportunity to throw a hundred shining nooses 
about her rebellious self. He talked to her in a very dif- 
ferent way from what he did to her mother. He spoke of 
things which might give him a claim to a "world of sighs." 
He used his descent and gloomy youth to good advantage 
and was elegiac. He was wisely silent as to how easy his 
father had made his way in the world^; he had overcome all 
obstacles through the strength of his own manhood and 
courage. He wore his shirt collar d la Byron and insinu- 
ated that he — "lord of himself; that heritage of woe!" — 
had not always trodden the straight path, that there were 
depths, dark, unfathomable depths in his bosom into which 
he could not look without becoming giddy. It was night 
within him but he had not yet lost his hunger for the light 
and that was the only reason that he was still able to mix 
with the living without being crippled by the burden of 
existence. 

Never in all her life had Kleophea been as silent as she 
became at this time. 

No change had taken place in Franzchen's relations with 
Hans. Lieutenant Rudolf still did not appear. 

In order not to worry the old people at home Hans had 
always written them that he was well off, very well off. 



THE HTJNGEE PASTOR 469 

But he was not well off I He could not get out of the magic 
circle that fate had drawn around him. He felt that the 
time was not far distant when he would hate Moses Freud- 
enstein, when he would love Franziska Gotz and he was con- 
stantly fleeing from his own thoughts. Poor Hans Un- 
wirrsch was far from being well off. Gradually he began 
to feel physically ill, suffered from dizziness and headache 
and became more melancholy from day to day. He no 
longer had any hunger for anything except to open his 
whole heart to Franzchen. 

One Saturday afternoon Candidate Unwirrsch received a 
package from Neustadt containing two presents and letters 
from Auntie Schlotterbeck and Uncle Griinebaum. His 
uncle complained that things were going miserably with 
him, that he was growing older every day, that his diges- 
tion refused to work, that his eyes had gone back on him 
and that he had sat down on his spectacles the day before 
yesterday. The "Red Ram" had changed hands and had 
lost its attractiveness and' even politics were no longer what 
they used to be. 

Auntie Schlotterbeck wrote full of solicitude for Hans' 
welfare and warned him again and again against Moses 
Freudenstein, who was a bad man, as old Esther and Pro- 
fessor Fackler too declared. When Hans had done reading 
these letters he had to hold his head with both hands; it 
seemed to him to be bursting. He wanted to open the ,win- 

dow but could not; ^he was ill, so ill that all his painful 

feelings dissolved into the nothingness of unconsciousness 
and then passed over into delirium. 

Hans Unwirrsch had inflammation of the brain and for 
several days was near death ; but he saw visions during this 
illness which were not bought too dear by all the pain that 
he suffered. Dr. Theophile Stein was among them. 

It was on the second day after the fever had broken out. 
Theophile was alone with the sick man and believed himself 
imobserved. At Mrs. Gotz's desire he had come to see 
"what the young man was doing." Hans' mind was all 



470 THE GEEMAN CLASSICS 

confusion but his delirious fantasies were interrupted by 
strange moments of clearness. Theophile was very curi- 
ous, as we know, and liked to poke about in other people's 
things and affairs, nor did he think it indiscreet to look 
into drawers that stood open and at unsealed letters that 
lay there. He took Auntie Schlotterbeck's letter during the 
perusal of which the illness had overtaken Hans and read, 
first with pleasure and then with his teeth on his lower lip, 
what she had written about him. * 'Absurdly original ! " he 
said, "but still the. duffer might become an inconvenience; 
it will be best to get him out of the house. Look out for 
yourself, my dear Hans!" He went over to the sick man's 
bed. So utterly out of his mind did he believe poor Hans 
to be that he thought it quite unnecessary to lay any re- 
straint upon himself. But he was mistaken: Hans saw 
clearly, quite clearly, horribly clearly. Between life and 
death, consciousness and unconsciousness, knowledge came 
to him in a flash. He saw Theophile 's eyes shining like 
those of an evil spirit rejoicing in his misfortune. All the 
heartlessness of him whom he had once called his friend 
was revealed in those eyes, in that smile. For the first 
time in his life Hans felt what hatred is. He wanted to 
shriek aloud and jump up but he could only reach the other 
with his eyes. Theophile Stein started ; he smiled no more ; 
Hans sank again into the delirium of fever but he took with 
'him the certainty that he had gained an irreconcilable 
enemy. 

When he again came to himself many a day had passed. 
He saw two other figures beside his bed of pain. At the 
foot sat Privy Councillor Gotz, tired and careworn, and 
beside him stood Franziska — Franzchen, sympathetic and 
gentle and with tears in her eyes. And Franzchen had no 
idea how distinctly the sick man saw at that moment. She 
took no pains whatever to control her features. And she 
started very much, did Franzchen, and blushed hotly when 
she suddenly noticed that Hans was awake and could see. 
Hans closed his eyes and when he opened them again — ^he 



THE HUNGER PASTOR 471 

could not tell just how long after that was — these two 
figures also were no longer there. 

But the sun had risen in Hans Unwirrsch's soul; he knew 
that he should not die, and knew something much more 
important than that. There was great rejoicing in his 
hungry soul and it did not matter a bit that his senses left 
hini once more; everything was now right. 

Eventually the day came when the tutor, very lean and 
somewhat dizzy, went downstairs into the drawing room 
to thank Mrs. Gotz and Kleophea for all their kindness. 
On the following day the mistress of the house had a second 
interview with the candidate and expressed the desire that 
the arrangement between them should come to an end by 
Christmas Day. She gave it as her opinion that Mr. Un- 
wirrsch's influence on her son could not be regarded as 
entirely beneficial. 

Utterly confused and benumbed Hans staggered back to 
his room only able to murmur the name ' ' Franziska. ' '] 



Chapter XXII 

Much had changed for the worse during the illness of 
Candidate Unwirrsch. It was only slowly that he came to 
realize how the conditions in the house.of the Privy Coun- 
cillor Gotz had shifted and become more complicated; but 
at the first glance he saw with a start that autumn had 
come. The lawn and the paths under the trees of the park 
were already covered with fallen leaves; the park itself 
began to look like a ragged rug with many moths in it; 
it might almost have been regarded as fortunate that Hans 
had no time to think about this. > 

Dr. Theophile Stein had won a complete victory over the 
beautiful and spirited girl, Kleophea. She loved this man 
with all the passion of which a nature like hers was capable. 
It required very delicate perception to discern the fire that 
glowed beneath a soil so gay with flowers, but it was there 



472 THE GERMAN CLASSICS 

and for the moment it made the garden bloom with even 
greater brilliance; — ^it was very sad, it was a matter for 
tears ! 

Since Hans had been on his feet again the Privy Coun- 
cillor had become as unapproachable to him as he had for- 
merly been ; his wife had spoken and he — submitted to this 
higher power. Hans realized that this man could not avert 
the danger that threatened his house and that no warning 
could help, perhaps might even do harm and make the mat- 
ter worse. So cleverly had Theophile prepared his way 
with the Privy Councillor's wife that not the slightest as- 
sistance was to be looked for in that directidn; and Kleo- 
phea, proud, magnificent Kleophea would have repulsed 
with the deepest scorn any attempt to interfere in these, 
her most private, intimate affairs. She had laughed too 
often with Theophile at the "Hunger Pastor" to allow her- 
self to be warned by the latter. Duplicity and impudent 
egoism, lamentable weakness, obstinate stupidity and Phari- 
saical arrogance, frivolity, conceit, exuberant wantonness, 
scorn and mockery on all sides ; — ^it was indeed a world to 
make one hunger, himger for innocence, for loyalty, for 
gentleness, for love. 

Oh, Franzchen, Franzchen Gotz, what a sweet, gentle 
light surrounded your chaste figure in the midst of this 
grimacing throng! .Where else could peace, refuge and rest 
be found but with you! Oh, Franzchen, Franzchen, how 
could it be that you caused poor Hans such strange pain? 
How could it be that you had to bear such strange pain on 
his account? How could you both torment each other so 
and moreover entirely against the will and the good inten- 
tions of Lieutenant Rudolf Gotz? 

Alas, Lieutenant Rudolf had no place in the council of 
Providence either, he was often hard pressed enough him- 
self ; destiny takes its own course and every time^of trial 
must come to an end in its own way in this himgry turmoil 
of life. 

Since the tutor had recovered, Franzchen no longer 



THE STORK'S VISIT 



From, the Pelting by Karl Spitzweg 



THE HUNGEE PASTOE 473 

avoided him so shyly. The more power Dr. Theophile Stein 
acquired in the house, the more the poor niece realized that 
the relation between the doctor and the good Hans could 
not be altogether as she had at first imagined, and not 
without justification. On the day on which her aunt gave 
the candidate notice that his services as preceptor would 
not be much longer needed, Franzchen sat in her room and 
wept tears of joy and murmured her mother's name as such 
poor, orphaned little things do when they meet with a 
great unexpected piece of happiness. And then she dried 
her tears and laughed in the midst of her last sob and into 
her damp handkerchief. 

"Oh, thank you, thank you, my dear Uncle Eudolf ! Do 
you see — no, yes — thank you, thank you ! ' ' 

Then she came down to take her place at the luncheon 
table and although the mental atmosphere during this meal 
was even more oppressive than usual and her aunt made 
more maliciously pointed remarks than ever, still, Franz- 
chen 's dear little heart had not beat so free and light for 
a long, long time. And Candidate Unwirrsch seemed to feel 
that in a moment. He too looked at the people about him 
with less embarrassment and more cheerfulness ; their do- 
ings and sayings no longer had their former bad influence 
on him ; Franzchen Gotz no longer avoided his eyes, and he 
could breathe freely. 

It could not be otherwise ; — ^what had dragged on so long 
in monotonous unpleasantness had at last to show itseK in 
all its nakedness and disconsolateness. The crisis was near 
at hand, and if, for the present, the evil went on without 
tangible, outward manifestations, yet the electric shock 
which was to throw the quiet, elegant household of the 
Privy Councillor into the greatest possible confusion and 
to make it the topic of conversation all over the town, could 
not fail to come. The threatening fist was clenched and 
struck menacingly at the door to put an end not only to all 
delusions, but to peaceful sleep as well. 

After the long, dreary rain, a few days followed at the 



474 THE GEEMAN CLASSICS 

beginning of October, when nature seemed to regret her 
bad humor and to endeavor to make up for it by being 
doubly amiable. The sun broke through the clouds, for 
thirty-six short hours the year showed itself in its matronly 
beauty and whoever could and would make use of the 
blessed moment had to hasten; for it is, after all, but 
seldom that such a change of heart is entirely to be trusted. 

The lady of the house commanded her lord to get leave 
for one or two days and carried him and her precious Aime 
off to the not too distant country house of some friends 
who most probably rejoiced exceedingly over the long an- 
nounced visit. 

Kleophea had refused to be carried off; she thoroughly 
hated the country, and the agricultural family to whom her 
parents were going perhaps even more. And if she had 
little fondness for the beauties of nature she had just as 
little taste for the marriageable eldest son of that worthy 
family, who succeeded only in boring the beautiful girl to 
death with his shining, healthy, but unfortunately some- 
what protruding eyes, and his unsuccessful attempts at 
conversation. Kleophea Gotz, who was not accustomed to 
give any account of her whims and moods, of her comings 
and goings, stayed at home, saw her parents drive away 
with a sigh of satisfaction, suffered all the afternoon with 
a nervous headache, declined to see Dr. Theophile and in 
the evening, with a family of her acquaintance, went to 
the opera where she could not decline to see Dr. Theophile. 
She came home with a violent headache and locked herself 
in her room after having, strangely enough, given her 
cousin a kiss and called her a "poor, good child." She 
must really have passed a very restless night, for the next 
morning she appeared very late and very exhausted and 
nervous. "When Franzchen sympathetically called her at- 
tention to the sunshine she declared that she didn't care 
about it and called her cousin a "dull little thing who had 
no will of her own except to suffer." At tiiesame time 
she began to cry, but a moment later sat down at the piano 



THE HUNGER PASTOR 475 

to lose herself in a succession of the most piercing arias. 
Toward noon she became almost recklessly cheerful and 
at lunch she challenged Hans, to confess that at the begin- 
ning of their acquaintance he had been terribly in love 
with her but that his simple uprightness had gradually 
found a more suitable object of admiration and so had 
turned to "gentle Franzchen." Her cheeks were very hot 
and she laughed very loudly at the confusion into which 
she threw her companions. She spoke of her mother with 
very unfilial shrugs of the shoulders, called her father a 
"poor worm" and her brother a "worm" without any 
qualifying adjective. She begged her cousin to confess that 
this house had been a "hell" to her and asked the tutor to 
say frankly that he knew of more comfortable places in 
which "to breathe." She was indescribably sharp to the 
butler and finally drove him out of the room only to confess 
that she was a very "naughty girl" and that Pranziska 
was a "poor darling." She drank to Hans and Franzchen 
and begged them to be i!ndulgent with her. Then her indis- 
position came on once more and she bolted herself again 
into her room. Toward five o'clock, when it was already 
getting dusk, she went out. 

All the afternoon Hans sat at his window unable to make 
up his mind to do anything sensible. He opened a book, 
laid it down again however, filled his pipe, which he had 
unearthed from the bottom of his trunk, with secret trem- 
bling, but it soon went out again as if it too knew that 
no smoking was allowed in that house. As usual he looked 
down on the throng of passing riders, pedestrians and car- 
riages and tried to concentrate his attention on the old 
organ-grinder with the fierce moustache and the Waterloo 
medal; but he did not succeed well even in that. Every- 
thing drew him back again and again into the house itself 
and an irresistible power compelled him to listen to the 
faintest sounds in the corridors and on the stairs. 

Her light footstep? . . . No, no, it was only a maid 
creeping by who, together with the much-belaeed Jean, had 



476 THE GERMAN CLASSICS 

received orders to keep a sharp eye on the tutor and on 
Miss Franziska so that they mi^ht later give a report of 
any incident that occurred. 

Her sweet voice! . . . Foolishness; it was an old 
woman outside in the avenue offering smoked herrings to 
those who liked them. 

Oh, if sighs could improve the world it would have be- 
come incapable of further improvement long since. Oh, 
how often and how deeply did Candidate Unwirrsch sigh 
on that unblessed afternoon! He gazed at the door of his 
room and thought of all those pleasant nursery tales in 
which the fairy, invoked or not invoked, always appears at 
the right moment. When she did not come and he had told 
himself a hundred times that he was a fool he went back 
to the window for the fiftieth time to gaze down again at 
the merry life below. He laid his forehead against the 
window pane and stood there long in that position; but 
suddenly he jumped back and looked out again more 
sharply. A shadow glided through the gay throng, a black, 
pale shadow. From underneath the trees a poorly clad, 
emaciated young woman came out and walked in front of 
the Privy Councillor's house, where she stopped, looking 
up at its windows. Hans recognized this woman, although 
he had only seen her twice and although she had changed 
very much since then. 

It was the little French girl, once so merry, whom he 
had met in Dr. Stein's rooms and it was as if in sorrowful 
helplessness her eyes were seeking him, Hans Unwirrsch. 
A strange feeling of anxiety came over him; — ^he had taken 
his hat and was already on the stairs before he could ex- 
plain these feelings to himself. He went out of the house, 
passed quickly round the fountain and the lawn and crossed 
the driveway to the trees of the park; but the black shadow 
had vanished and Hans looked about for it in vain. Had 
his imagination led him astray again? He stood a moment 
in doubt; but the sun was shining, the air was so refreshing, 
— he did not return to the house but went slowly on under 



THE HUNGEE PASTOR 477 

the trees. Soon, of course, he forsook the broad prom- 
enades where most of the people were walking. He sought 
the lonely, winding paths among the bushes, the paths on 
which all those are most frequently found who walk with 
bent heads and have a way of standing still for no par- 
ticular reason. But on that day scarcely any path was alto- 
gether deserted. Everyone was out of doors — everyone. 
There were the people who had dined and those who had 
dined too well and those who had not dined at all. There 
were the people who were able to drive and those who were 
obliged to go on crutches. There were the would-be-old 
children who thought it beneath their dignity any longer to 
jump through a hoop and the childish old men who would 
gladly have done so but could not and instead of that sent 
admiring glances after the young girls that passed. It 
was very difficult to find an unoccupied bench. In the seats 
which everyone could see sat people who had nothing to 
conceal, or perhaps even something to show, while the 
seats in the hidden nooks were occupied by loving couples 
or people who were ashamed of their shabby clothes ; and 
when finally Hans did find an empty bench a badly spelt 
notice on the back of it frightened him away. Scribbled in 
pencil were the words : 

"As I can't stand it no longer on acount of Louise I am 
going to America and if Berger of Coblenz comes here and 
reeds this here notice it would be frendly of him if he would 
break the news to my folks in Bell Lane so they wont make 
no fuss about it and keep supper waiting for me." 

Now there was indeed no real reason why Candidate 
Unwirrsch should take it to heart if the ne'er-do-weel ran 
off and Berger of Coblenz broke the news in Bell Lane ; — ■ 
but he did so nevertheless. After thinking for some time 
whether it was not his own duty to ask in Bell Lane 
whether Berger had been there and whether the old parents 
were not still waiting supper for their lost son, Hans 
jumped up to look for another seat. He could not endure 
it on that bench any longer. 



478 THE GEEMAN CLASSICS 

A short path led him to those romantic expanses of 
water, those greasy green canals which adorn the more 
remote part of the park and which must fill with delight the 
hearts of all lovers of the microscope and infusoria ; they 
certainly every spring provide whole Pharoanio armies of 
frogs with all they need for joyful and melodious existence. 

There he found a place where no loving couples would 
sit down, a bench in front of a deep pool out of which 
more than one corpse had been dragged before this, a 
thoroughly hidden bench, in a thoroughly damp and dank 
place, a bench which was not so easy to find even at this 
season when so many trees and bushes were already losing 
their leaves. It suddenly came into view at a turn of the 
narrow path round a dense, thorny clump of shrubbery, 
just before it ended at the water's edge; and nothing was 
lacking to complete the miserable, melancholy impression 
but a black post with a black arm pointing into the stag- 
nant, swampy pool. 

With bent head Hans followed the narrow path and 
stepped out from behind the shrubbery to stand suddenly 
still, amazed and startled; close before him on the half- 
rotten bench sat the figure that he was seeking against his 
own will, the figure that had drawn him out of Councillor 
Gotz's house, — the shadow of the little French girl who 
once, in Theophile's room, had laughed so merrily at his 
embarrassment. 

It was she undoubtedly, and yet scarcely anything re- 
mained of her former appearance. She seemed to be ill, 
very ill, she still wore gloves but they were torn, as were her 
once so dainty little shoes. The shawl which she had 
wrapped round her shivering body was worn and faded; — 
alas, she was altogether the poor little cricket of her com- 
patriot Monsieur Jean de la Fontaine ! 

And she recpgnized Hans Unwirrsch immediately, for 
she rose quickly, drew her shawl together and hastily 
reached for the handkerchief that lay on the bench beside 



THE HUNGER PASTOR 479 

her. With fearful, somewhat theatrical anger she looked 
at Candidate Unwirrsch. 

"Ah, ce monsieur!" 

She tried to pass him but he stepped in front of her and 
calmly met the contemptuous glance of her black eyes. 

"Monsieur, your friend is a canaille!" she cried, clench- 
ing her fist. ' ' Let me past — ^vill you ? ' ' 

"I beg your pardon," said Hans Unwirrsch gently and 
sadly. "Dr. Theophile Stein is not my friend. Now won't 
youlisten to me?" 

' ' I vill not hear you more ! I vill not see you more ! I 
vill not see nozing of ze world more, but ma figure in zis 
water 'ere!" 

This was spoken with such vehemence, such wildness, that 
Hans involuntarily caught her arm to prevent her jumping 
into the pool; but she tore herself away, laughed bitterly 
and then covered her face with both hands and began to 
cry as bitterly. 

"Do let me tell you," exclaimed Hans, "you have spoken 
hard words to me, you have troubled me very much. I am 
not conscious of any guilty act toward you and I will help 
you if I can; — ^I repeat, I am not Dr. Stein's friend; — 
I am no longer his friend ! ' ' 

Slowly she let her hands fall and looked again into 
Hans' eyes. 

"You too accuse him whom you have just mentioned? 
Tell me what part of his guilt I must take upon myself ! ' ' 
said Hans, softly, and she — she looked him over from head 
to foot and then, — it was so strange — and then a slight 
smile crossed her sick, sorrowful features. 

"You are not 'is friend?" she asked. 

' ' Not any longer, and it is a great sorrow to me. ' ' 

Now the French girl took the candidate's hand and her 
fingers were like iron. 

"Monsieur le cure, I am a poor girl and all alone in a 
strange countree. I am ill, and I am not honnete. I 'ave 
'ad a leetle child, but it is dead ; — ^I am all left alone in a 



480 THE GERMAN CLASSICS 

strange countree! Oh, Monsieur, 'e is a bad, vicked man 
and if you are not 'is friend forgive me vat I 'ave said — 
je n'ai plus rien a dire." 

Hans could not understand her broken German well, nor 
her quick French at aU, but her gestures and her expression 
enabled him to comprehend her. He led her back to the 
bench and she let him keep her hand when he sat down 
beside her and talked to her gently and soothingly. It was 
five o'clock, the sun sank behind the trees, a white mist rose 
from the ponds ; it was cold- and gray — it was the hour 
when the beautiful Kleophea Gotz left her father's house. 

Hans told the French girl as well as he could all that was 
necessary about his relation to Dr. Stein and then gradually 
he learnt the sad story of her life and the evil part that 
Moses Freudenstein of Kroppel Street had played in it. 

Henriette Trublet was not made to keep a perfectly 
straight course through life and in this respect it was 
probable that Dr. Theophile had altered her fate but little. 
She carried an adventurous little head on her shoulders 
and lived only in the present. She had been a dressmaker's 
apprentice in Paris and there Theophile had met and won 
her. She had not really loved him but he had pleased her, 
and his Parisian friends and the way in which he enjoyed 
life appealed to her. She was the scintillating streamer 
on a very gay, bright wreath and when, as usually happens, 
the latter broke and Dr. Theophile had gone back to Ger- 
many she soon began to long for him. She had heard aU 
sorts of marvelous tales of poor good Allemagne. The 
people there were so honest and so musical and so blond ; — 
to be sure, they probably were also a little backward in 
civilization and somewhat simple ; but still they were much 
better than tall silly Englishmen. And they bought all 
their hats and caps and their artificial flowers and their 
champagne in Paris — those good Germans ; and any pretty, 
clever child of Belle France must be able to make her for- 
tune there among them in spite of the fog, ice and snow, 
in spite of all the wolves and polar bears, Erl kings, nixies 



THE HUNGER PASTOE 481 

and other monsters. Oi;e morning Henriette arrived at the 
Strassburg railway station with a leather trunk and a 
tremendous number of boxes of all shapes and sizes, — and 
she found pleasant traveling companions to the Rhine too 
—allons enfants de la patrie, onward to Homburg, Baden- 
Baden and so on — ou le drapeau, Id est la France, ubi bene, 
ibi patria! And one fine morning Dr. Theophile Stein 
heard a gentle tapping at his door and a soft giggle outside 
it ; Henriette Trublet had found him again. 

So far this was all very well and neither could reproach 
the other with anything ; but from then on under other skies 
their relation was changed. Poor Henriette, deserted, help- 
less and not knowing what to do found herself entirely de- 
livered over to Theophile; she became a despised, abused 
plaything and the light, gay bloom that had covered her 
frivolous butterfly wings was soon rubbed off and blown 
away. Dr. Stein had a reputation to sustain now and if he 
was weak enough not to be able to thrust the poor little 
Parisian away from him he had sufficient strength to hold 
her down low enough so. that she was obliged to serve and 
obey him without being in any way able to interfere with 
his plans and hopes. It was his fault and owing to his in- 
trigues that she was prevented from making use of her skil- 
ful hands. Only when she was entirely dependent on him 
could he exert complete tyranny over her. When he grew 
tired of her, he believed her much too broken to harm him, 
and so with no further thought he closed his door to her 
and left her to her fate. Her child was born in the hospital 
toward the middle of September and died on the second of 
October. It was an evil place, this bench beside the stag- 
nant green pool, where, on the fourth of October Candidate 
Unwirrsch found poor Henriette Trublet sitting. 

Traitre — va! 
Vol. XI— 31 



482 THE GERMAN CLASSICS 

Chapter XXIII 

Hans Unwibbsch grew hot and cold by turns as Hen- 
riette Trublet told her story. It was his misfortune that 
even the most ordinary things excited him so and that it 
was so difficult for him to look upon any such incidents 
as ridiculous or insignificant. He sat there stupefied until 
the French girl suddenly jumped up, stamped her foot pas- 
sionately and cried : 

"Oh, he 'as treated me badly, but I vill revenge myself 
ven I can. I vill interfere, I vill, if it is ze last hour. And 
I vill go to her — I vill ! I vill tell ze beautiful Mademoiselle 
who he is — le jmf! le miserable! He shall not 'ave his 
vill " 

"Kleophea!" cried Hans. "Good God, yes, yes, to be 
sure! Oh, tell me, do you know about that? My head 
swims — ^I, we, you must go to her, she must know this. No, 
no, and again, no, she shall not fall into his hands ; we must 
save her, even if it is against her own will." 

"I did know zat he vas running after ze beautiful young 
lady, zere in ze house by ze park ; I vas much jealous of her 
— pauvre petite. I 'ave stood before her vindow and 
laughed, mon Dieu, and my heart 'as bled. It vas very 
bad, it vas very vicked — pauvre coeur, I vill save her from 
zis man! Venez, monsieur le cure." 

The evening was cold and dark, the beautiful weather 
was all gone and the wind began to move the mists above 
the ponds and to shake the twigs. It began to groan and 
sigh as on the day when Hans had gone from the university 
to his mother's deathbed. It rustled in the distance and 
whistled nearby, far away the lights and lanterns among 
the trees seemed to be thrown back and forth like the 
boughs. The fiery reflection of the great city on the dark 
sky was like the breath of the terrible, final abyss. 

Now, indeed, the pleasure-seeking throng had long since 
dispersed; rich and poor had crept out of sight; the shadow- 
like forms that still slunk about the paths of the park 



THE HUNGER PASTOR 483 

were not to be trusted; it was well to avoid them if pos- 
sible. From a distant pleasure resort the wind brought 
the sound of dance music, in fragments. Henriette Trublet 
walked close to Hans' side and he gave her his arm as 
she, exhausted by his hasty step, fell behind. More and 
more frequently and brighter the gas lanterns shone 
through the trees — there was the street, and there Privy 
Councillor Gotz's house. 

The two wanderers halted a moment. 

Only a single window was lighted. 

"Zat is not her light! Zat is not her room!" said the 
French girl. 

Hans Unwirrsch shook his head; he could not utter 
Franziska's name in this company. Oh that lighted win- 
dow in the wild, restless, dark night! Peace and rest; — 
God's blessing on Franzchen! The candidate gazed rev- 
erently at the dim glow above them and then gently took 
hold of the hand of the poor girl who had again stepped 
away from his side a» they came out of the gloom of the 
trees. 

"Come, pauvre enfant, — ^we are going on a good er- 
rand!" he said. 

They walked through the little garden and Hans rang 
the doorbell. They had to wait some time before it pleased 
Jean to open the door. At last he came and was much 
amazed to see the tutor's companion, and still more so at 
the emphasis with which Hans put an end to his expressions 
of amazement. 

"Is Miss Gotz at home?" 

Jean stared, stared and remained silent; but a moment 
later the candidate had seized him by the shoulder-strap. 

"Why don't you answer me? Announce me at once to 
Miss Gotz — Miss Kleophea!" 

This unheard-of audacity caused the elegant youth to 
lose his usual insolent balance for a few moments; and 
when he regained it at last his indignation knew no bounds. 
And the housekeeper appeared and the ladies' maid; the 



484 THE GERMAN CLASSICS 

little kitchen maid looked shyly round a corner in the 
background; poor Henriette drew back as far as possible 
from the light of the hall lamp into the darkness. Hans, 
almost ready to die with annoyance and excitement at all 
these impudent, doubtful glances, repeated his request for 
Kleophea in a raised voice. At that moment Franziska 
Gotz leaned over the banisters. She carried her small lamp 
in her hand. 

' * Miss Kleophea is not at home, ' ' snapped Jean. * ' More- 
over I protest " 

"Malheur a elle!" exclaimed the French girl. 

"Oh Mr. Unwirrsch, what has happened? What has 
happened to my cousin?" cried Franzchen coming down. 

"Isn't she at home? We must speak to her ; — Good God, 
where has she gone?" 

"She did not say; she left the house at dusk." 

' ' Then you must hear, you must tell us what to do. Per- 
haps it is even better so." 

Franziska too looked wonderingly at the stranger, then 
she said: 

"If I can be of use to you — to my cousin; — Oh, she is 
going to faint!" 

The French girl shook her head. 

"No, no, it vill pass quick — ce n'est rien!" 

"Come up to my room. What has happened? What 
have you to tell me? Oh, how pale you are, — ^lean on my 
arm. ' ' 

The French girl shook her head again, she retreated 
timidly before the quiet, gracious, innocent figure and 
turned to Hans. 

"If ze ozer is not here, what 'ave I to do in zis house? 
You tell her, monsieur le cure. I vill not enter in zis house, 
I vill go." 

"No, no — stay. Miss Henriette," cried Hans, but the 
stranger drew her shawl closer about her and held out her 
hand to Hans. 
' "Adieu, monsieur le cure, you are honest man." She 



THE HUNGEE PASTOR 485 

turned toward Franzchen, bowed her head and whispered 
slowly and softly, "Pries pour moi! — Vous!" 

Franziska laid her han,d on her shoulder. 

"I do not want to let you go away like this. You are 
unhappy — and ill ; and you bring evil tidings to this house. 
Come, lean on my arm; oh come, Mr. Unwirrsch; — Kleo- 
phea will certainly come back soon. ' ' 

Gently Franzchen led the poor little French girl upstairs 
and beckoned to Hans to follow, while the servants put 
their heads together, sneered and shrugged their shoulders. 

For the first time Hans entered the room which Fran- 
ziska occupied in her uncle's house and his heart trembled 
much as he crossed the threshold. 

It was like a dream. The moaning wind outside the 
windows, the rustling and creaking of the trees, was not 
all this just as it had been when, at the Post-horn in Wind- 
heim, Franzchen 's sweet face first appeared out of the 
darkness, and, for the first time. Lieutenant Eudolf Gotz 
called Dr. Moses Freudenstein a scoundrel? 

What a long time lay between the present anxious 
evening and that one ! 

Who was the pale, haggard stranger in the cheap, shabby 
dress and shawl? How came she here, in this house ? What 
had she to do with Franzchen and what house was this? 

Where was the friend of his youth? Where was Moses 
Freudenstein of Kroppel Street? 

It was, as if the weird, pitiless, cold wind outside gave 
an answer to all these questions. 

"Woe to you, struggle as you may, ours is the triumph! 
Ours is the triumph over spring, over youth, over faithful- 
ness and innocence. Transitoriness and egoism are your 
masters! Struggle as you may, it gives us joy to watch 
you struggle! The only faithfulness, innocence, eternity 
is in — us!" 

And again darkness looked threateningly in at the win- 
dow as if it had swallowed up every other light and as if, 
of all the brightness and brilliance in the world, Franz- 



486 THE GEEMAN CLASSICS 

chen's little lamp alone were left. Hans Unwirrsch stood 
in the narrow circle of light shed by this lamp with the 
feeling that here alone there was still refuge in every dis- 
tress, satisfaction for all hunger, comfort for all pain. 
He scarcely dared to breathe. 

An open book and some sewing lay on the table; — 
Franzchen had just risen from that chair and now the 
strange, abandoned young woman sat there, — ^it could not 
be reality, it must be a delusion, one of the feverish delu- 
sions that had visited him lately. 

No, no, that was Franzchen 's soft, sweet voice and 
Franzchen had laid her hand on the shoulder of the poor 
girl who, with hidden face, was trembling and sobbing. 
Franzchen Gotz spoke in good, Parisian French to poor 
Henriette Trublet, but still Hans, who knew the language 
only from books, knew what she said. And the stranger 
raised her tearful eyes at the first sound of her mother 
tongue, listened with all her soul and then kissed Franz- 
chen 's hand. 

Speaking in her mother tongue she told her sad story 
for the second time. 

As she went on Franziska looked more and more anx- 
iously at Hans; she gripped the table against which she 
was leaning with a trembling hand and when the Parisian 
had finished she cried : 

"Oh, Mr. Unwirrsch, and Kleophea? Kleophea! Where 
is Kleophea? If only she would come — now, now!" 

She went to the window and opened it. The wind caught 
the sash and nearly tore it from her hand, the lamp flared 
with the wild gust; the gas flames at the edge of the park 
were blown about in their glass globes, throwing red, un- 
certain flickering lights on the street, but the street was 
empty and a carriage the sound of which seemed unbear- 
ably long in approaching, drove by without stopping. 

"And her father, her mother! What is to be done, oh, 
what is to be done, Mr. Unwirrsch?" 

Hans looked at his watch. 



THE HUNGEE PASTOE 487 

"It is nine," he said. "Calm yourself, Miss Franziska. 
She certainly will not stay out much longer; we must be 
patient and wait, that is all we can do. ' ' 

Franzchen ,had turned to the stranger; in spite of her 
anxiety and excitement she still had comfort enough for 
poor Henriette. She spoke to her softly and Henriette 
kissed her hand again and again. Hans stood at the win- 
dow and listened to the soft words of the two women and 
to the loud voice of the gale. Now and then a figure passed 
through the flickering light of the gas lanterns, several 
more carriages drove by, but still Kleophea Gotz did not 
come. 

Franziska replenished the fire in the stove. She opened 
the door and asked the housekeeper, whose eye and ear had 
been taking turns at the keyhole for some time, to bring 
some tea and something to eat for the hungry, half fainting 
stranger. The farther the night advanced the greater did 
her anxiety become. 

Henriette Trublet ate and drank eagerly, looked once 
more round the room with fixed, glassy eyes and then her 
head sank forward on her breast — she had fallen asleep. 

It was the sleep of complete exhaustion. 

"Poor, unfortunate girl!" sighed Franziska. "What a 
night! What a terrible night!" 

She put her arm round the sleeping girl to keep her from 
falling; her locks touched the sinner's brow; and if Hans 
Unwirrsch had lived to be a thousand years old he would 
never have been able to forget the scene. 

She looked across to him. 

"Oh, please help me, let us lay her down on the divan! 
Listen — what is she saying?" 

Henriette murmured in her sleep, — ^perhaps her mother's 
name — ^perhaps that of her patron saint. She did not feel 
it when Hans picked her up in his arms and carried her 
to the little sofa where Franzchen arranged the cushions 
for her and covered her with a cloak and shawl. 



488 THE GERMAN CLASSICS 

It struck eleven o'clock; Kleophea Gotz had not come 
home yet. 

"What a night! What a night!" murmured Franzchen. 
"What shall we do? What can we do?" 

Suddenly she jumped up and put out both hands as if 
warding off something. 

"What if she should have gone away, never to come home 
again? What if this evening she left her parents' house 
forever? Oh no, that is too terrible a thought!" 

"She can't have been so bereft of all reason, that is im- 
possible!" cried Hans. "That would be too terrible; it is 
impossible ! ' ' 

"Oh, this deadly fear!" murmured Franziska. "Is that 
rain?" 

It was rain. At first4)nly a few scattered drops pattered 
against the panes; but soon came the familiar sound of a 
drenching, pelting downpour. The gale drove the rain in 
gusts across the country, the broad park and the great 
city. 

"In spite of everything, her mother would never have 
consented to an alliance with this — this Dr. Stein," said 
Franziska. "It is true that she likes to have him in her 
drawing room; but she is a proud woman and thinks that 
she has already arranged quite a different future for Kleo- 
phea. Shortly before she went away she spoke in her usual 
manner of a brilliant match. Oh, it would indeed be the 
worst misfortune that could happen if my cousin, with her 
contradictory spirit, had taken such a step. Listen — 
there's another carriage — thank God, there she is!" 

They listened again and a moment later Hans shook his 
head and Franzchen sank brokenly onto a chair ; Henriette 
Trublet slept a deep and sound sleep. 

"She would be lost for her whole life!" said Hans to 
himself, but Franziska heard the murmured words; she 
started, shuddered and nodded. 

"She would be lost." 



THE HUNGEE PASTOR 489 

"That man would kill her, soul and body. Alas, that it 
is so and that I should be the one to have to say it. ' ' 

Again Franzchen rose from her chair; she went up to 
Hans, she laid her trembling hand on his arm and whispered 
scarcely audibly : 

"Dear Mr. Unwirrsch, I have done you a great wrong. 
Can you forgive me? Will you forgive me? I have done 
heavy, heavy penance for it. It has cost me many, many 
tears and wakeful nights. Oh, forgive me for this distress ; 
forgive me for my uncle 's sake. ' ' 

Hans Unwirrsch staggered as he heard these words. 

"Oh, Miss — Franziska," he stammered, "not you, it is 
not you who have done me a wrong. We both have been 
caught in the confused whirl of this world. Evil powers 
have played with us and we could not defend ourselves 
against them ! Is not that the clear and simple truth?" 

"It is," said Franzchen. "We have not been able to 
defend ourselves." 

The rain poured down in streams; the wind shook the 
window like a wild beast, but both wind and rain, and the 
darkness that added to their terror might do and threaten 
and say their worst : from then on, even on this night when 
Kleophea Grotz did not return to her home, they scarcely 
seemed dreadful or uncanny any longer. Prom then on the 
wind and the rain and the night were blessings ; no longer 
were they voices from the abyss, proclaiming destruction — 
death and the reign of egoism. 

It was long after midnight and still Kleophea had not 
come. Hans and Franzchen sat beside the sleeping 
stranger and talked to each other in low tones. Ah, they 
had so much to say ! 

They did not speak of love, — they did not think of it at 
all. They simply spoke of how they had lived ; and every- 
thing that had seemed so confused was now so easily un- 
tangled ; and often a single word made everything that had 
been so dark and threatening become light and simple and 
consoling. 



490 THE GERMAN CLASSICS 

Franziska Gotz talked of her father, and what the daugh- 
ter told Hans of him was very different from what Lieu- 
tenant Eudolf Gotz had said and even more so from what 
Dr. Theophile Stein had related. The daughter's eyes 
shone as she told how proud and brave her father had been 
and how on more than one battlefield he had shed his blood 
for freedom. Franzchen talked of her mother, how lovely 
and kind she had been, how much anxiety, unrest and dis- 
tress she had suffered in her eventful life without evei* com- 
plaining and how at last in the year 1836 she had died a 
lingering death of consumption. Good little Franzchen 
told how deeply her mother's death had bowed her father 
and how he had really never raised his head again joy- 
fully after the funeral. She told how her good Uncle Eudolf 
had come to that funeral, an old invalid soldier himself, 
with a little bundle and a heavy, knobbed stick. She knew 
much to tell of the curious household of the two brothers 
in Paris and of how so many old warriors of all nations, 
Germans, Frenchmen, Poles, Italians, and Americans came 
and went in the house and were all so kind to Franzchen. 
She told of the fencing lessons that the two brothers gave 
and of how, in a yard outside the barrier, they had taught 
the young pupils of the polytechnic school and the students 
of the Latin Quarter how to shoot with pistols. She told 
of the gruff old retired soldiers of the Old Guard who came 
to be such good friends with the two Germans whom they 
had met at Katzbach, Leipzig and Waterloo, and sat with 
them in their attic room smoking and drinking and telling 
stories like all the rest. 

Then with bent head she told how good Uncle Rudolf 
had at last grown homesick for Germany ; how he had gone 
away and then how evil times followed ; times full of misery 
and trouble, evil, evil days. In a scarcely audible voice 
Franziska Gotz told how life went worse and worse with 
her father, how, one after another, the sources from which 
he had drawn aid failed, and how more and more frequently 
he had sought comfort in stupefying strong drink and of 



THE HUNGEE PASTOE 491 

how, gradually, many bad, false people had drawn close to 
him. 

Finally Franziska Gotz spoke in a low voice of Dr. Theo- 
phile, of how he had lived in the same house with them and 
how he had tried in the most abominable way to take ad- 
vantage of her unhappy father's weakness. She spoke of 
her unutterable loneliness, and Hans Unwirrsch bit his lips 
and in imagination gripped the throat of Moses Freuden- 
stein of Kroppel Street with his two good fists to squeeze 
his soul out of his body. 

Franziska told of her father's death and how in her 
greatest distress Uncle Eudolf had come again to save her. 

Franziska showed Hans a letter from Uncle Theodor and 
it was really most remarkable how differently Privy Coun- 
cillor Gotz could write from the way he looked and spoke. 

Lieutenant Eudolf Gotz was very poor and had no home 
to which he could take his brother 's orphan child ; and now 
for the first time Hans learnt how the good old man lived, 
how he roved about nomadically, actually omnia sua secum 
portans and settled down only in winter with some one of 
his comrades in war of the same age as himself, preferably 
with Colonel von BuUau in Grunzenow, far off on the shore 
of the Baltic. 

Lieutenant Eudolf could only fetch the orphan from 
Paris, he could not offer her a protecting roof. Here now 
was the letter from Uncle Theodor which the Privy Coun- 
cillor's wife had not dictated and which had not been 
written under her eyes but only under cover of one of his 
documents ; and it was this letter which had led the lieu- 
tenant to bring his niece to his brother's house. 

"And on the way I was fortunate enough to meet you in 
the Post-horn in Windheim," cried Hans. "I was going 
to my mother's deathbed and Mr. Gotz called Moses a 
scoundrel, and the gale — and you, oh Miss Franziska . . . 
Good God, and it is truth and reality that we are sitting 
here and waiting for Miss Kleophea ! ' ' 

They both started at the mention of that name and 



492 THE GEEMAN CLASSICS 

looked toward the black windows on whicli the rain still 
poured down, which the wind still shook. They had given 
up hoping for the return of the unhappy girl. 

Henriette Truhlet stirred in her sleep and fearfully 
called the name of Theophile. Gently and with a merciful 
hand Franziska replaced the cloak over the forsaken girl's 
shoulders and then sat down again. 

They went on talking of the evening when they had first 
met and Franzchen told how much the candidate had 
pleased her Uncle Eudolf and of how often he had spoken 
of him during their journey. Hans told about his mother's 
death, of his Uncle Griinebaum and Auntie Schlotterbeck 
and took the latter 's last letter out of his pocket-book to 
show it to Franzchen. He told of how Dr. Theophile had 
read that letter while he, Hans Unmrrsch, lay ill with 
fever; he told how a dreadful glance and flash had shown 
him Dr. Theophile in all his malice and duplicity. 

Franzchen now unlocked a little box and showed the 
tutor a whole series of letters from Uncle Eudolf — all of 
them nearly as illegible as Uncle Griinebaum 's epistles and 
the last few all written from Grunzenow on the Baltic. 
Since summer the lieutenant had been lying, in great pain 
with gout, in Colonel von BuUau's house in Grunzenow and 
Franzchen confessed with tears in her eyes that she had 
written her poor uncle only joyful, cheerful and contented 
letters and that she could not have written differently for 
anything in the world. At that Hans would have liked to 
kiss her brave, soothing little hand again and again; but 
he did not dare to, and it was better so. Angry at himself, 
however, he deeply repented the doubtful blessings that at 
times he had called down on the absent lieutenant's head. 
He regretted them deeply, especially when he read the lieu- 
tenant's letters in which the old warrior confessed plain- 
tively that he would rather run away with the devil's 
grandmother than ever again introduce and smuggle into 
his "gracious sister-in-law's" house a tutor after his, 
though not after the devil's, own heart. 



THE HUNGER PASTOR 493 

"You won his whole heart that evening," said Franz- 
chen. "He talked of you so much on our journey, and I — I 
did not forget you altogether either in the years that fol- 
lowed. Oh, I had much time and great need to think of 
all those who had treated me with friendliness. Oh, Mr. 
Unwirrsch, we have neither of us been able to live happily 
in this house, but still my lot was the harder to bear. I have 
often been terribly, terribly hungry for a friendly face, a 
friendly word. I would gladly have gone away to earn 
my own bread, but my aunt would not hear of that. But 
you know all about it, Mr. Unwirrsch, — why should we 
say any more about it? It is wrong too, to think only 
of ourselves at this moment. ' ' 

"It is not wrong," cried Hans with unaccustomed 
vehemence. "Oh, Miss Pranziska, we may certainly talk 
of ourselves in this hour; the hard, cold world has thrust 
us back to the very core of our lives, — :we may talk of our- 
selves, in order to save ourselves. This night will pass, a 
new day will come. What will it bring usf In all proba- 
bility it will plunge us into an entirely new state of things. 
How will it be tomorrow in this house ? I shall have to go ; 
but you — ^you. Miss Franziska, what will you have to do and 
suffer? How gloomy, how drearily bleak and dead this 
house will be tomorrow! Any other existence would be 
blissful compared with life in this house ! Oh, Franziska — 
Miss Franzchen, write tomorrow to your uncle, to the lieu- 
tenant; or — or let me write to him ! Don't stay here ; don't 
stay in this house; its atmosphere is deadly — Oh, Franz- 
chen, Franzchen, let me write to Lieutenant Gotz!" 

Franziska shook her head gently and said : 

"I must stay. If I could not go before there is all the 
more reason why I may not go now. I have not been 
happy in this house but still it has given me shelter, and 
Uncle Theodor — Oh no, how could I leave poor Uncle Theo- 
dor now? My head swims now, to be sure; but I must 
stay — I am not mistaken, that is the right thing for me to 
do and I will not do anything wrong. Dear friend, I must 



494 THE GEEMAN CLASSICS 

not write to Uncle Rudolf to take me away from here, and 
you must not do so either. I know that that is right. ' ' 

Hans Unwirrsch dared to do it — he kissed the gentle, 
loyal little hand that was stretched out to him so shyly and 
yet with such unconquerable power. Hot tears ran down 
his cheeks. 

Yes, she was right. She was always right. Blessings on 
her ! On this stormy night, this night of misery and ruin, 
she sat like a beautiful, lovely miracle beside the foreign 
girl and laid her pure, innopent hand on the latter 's hot, 
feverish brow; yes, indeed, she was merciful and of great 
kindness and she would have to remain in this desolate 
house; that was certainly right! 

It was long past two o'clock. 

"Let us part now, dear friend," said Franzchen. "She 
has not come home, — she has taken her destiny into her 
own hands; may God have mercy on her and protect her 
on her way. Let us part now, dear friend; I will watch 
over this poor girl here and tomorrow morning we will 
talk over the rest." 

"Tomorrow morning," said Hans. "It seems to me as 
if this night would never come to an end. I am afraid of 
the morning for, in spite of all my doubts, I know that it 
will come. Oh, Miss Franzchen, it has been a long and yet a 
short, short night. It has been terrible and yet full of 
sweetness. God bless you, Franziska. Oh, what shall. I 
say to you, — how shall we be when the new day has come ? ' ' 

Franziska lowered her head and gave Hans Unwirrsch 
her hand in silence. They parted from each other troubled 
and blissful. They could not yet quite grasp the blessing 
which this dark, weird night had brought them both. They 
parted, and their hearts beat loudly. 

Summary of Chapters XXIV to XXXIII 

[The morning came shrouded in gray mist. Hans and 
Franzchen stepped to the windows shivering. They had not 



THE HUNOEE PASTOE 495 

slept; they drew long breaths and greeted the gray light 
thankfully. They were no longer alone ; — Hans and Franz- 
chen had gained a great, great deal in the night in which 
Kleophea Grotz had left her home. 

At seven o'clock the French girl waked from her death- 
like slumber and began to cry violently. Franzchen spoke 
to her soothingly and then began to talk earnestly and ur- 
gently of the future. Sobbingly Henriette replied that she 
wanted to go home to her own country and to be good and 
work hard and make her own living according to God's 
will. And Franzchen Gotz put all her worldly tr